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Guido Görres

Historian, publicist, poet; b. 1805; d. 1852

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Görres, Guano, historian, publicist, and poet; b. at Coblenz, on May 28, 1805; d. at Munich on July 14, 1852. He was the son of the great Johann Joseph Gorres, and made his early classical studies in his native town. During his father’s banishment he went to Aarau and Strasburg to pursue his education. Reaching the University of Bonn in 1824, he devoted himself chiefly to the study of philology and history. In Munich he continued his linguistic studies, and in 1830 received a prize from the French Academy. In the meantime (1827) his father had received a call as professor of history to Munich, and Guido, influenced by his father’s lectures, now took up history as his chief study. The fruit of these studies were “Nikolaus von der Flue” (Ratisbon, 1831) and “Die Jungfrau von Orleans” (Ratisbon, 1834; 3rd ed., 1895). Jointly with Count Franz Pocci, he published from 1834-39 an illustrated serial on the festivals of the Church, the “Festkalender in Bildern and Liedern”, the first illustrated magazine for the young in German. Still carrying on his historical work, he made a great tour of investigation through France in search of further material relating to the Maid of Orleans. But before long his work took a different direction. He edited from 1838 the “Historisch-politische Blatter”, a publication subsisting to this day, established to maintain the defense of the rights of the Catholic church and to champion the interests of German Catholics. Guido Gorres took charge of the editorial management with Phillips, and continued at this post until his death. The writings published by him in this review were numerous and on various topics. At the same time his talents as a poet found expression in many beautiful compositions. He became one of the foremost lyricists among the modern Catholic poets of Germany. The tale “Schon Roslein” (Munich, 1838), the charming collection of “Marienlieder” (Munich, 1843), some of which are still sung by the people, besides “Das Weihnachtskripplein” (Schaffhausen, 1843), “Das Leben der hl. Cecilia in drei Gesangen” (Munich, 1843), and the widely-known and popular poems “Die Gottesfahrt nach Trier” (Coblenz, 1844), “Die arme Pilgerin zum hl. Rock” (Coblenz, 1845), the “Gedichte” (Munich, 1844), evince true art, deep perception, and delicate tenderness, combined with power of conception and vigor of form. His work “Der hurnene Siegfried and seen Kampf mit dem Drachen” (Schaffhausen, 1843) belongs to the domain of literary history. In 1846 he began with Count Pocci, as he had formerly done in the case of the Feast Calendar, the publication of an illustrated magazine called the “Deutsches Hausbuch”, which however appeared for two years only. On the death of Klemens Brentano Gorres edited his “Marchen” (2 vols., Stuttgart, 1846). He also produced an excellent German translation of the “Imitation of Christ” (St. Polten,1839, with illustrations by Steinle). In 1844 Gorres married Maria Vespermann, who gave him three daughters. But his conjugal happiness was not to last more than eight years, for he died at Munich at the age of forty-seven years.


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