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Clemens Wenzeslaus Brentano de la Roche 1778- 1842

Born at Ehrenbreitstein to a merchant family of Italian origin, Brentano enjoyed a close relationship with his sister Bettina, later wife of Achim von Arnim. Their parents died in 1793 and 1797 after which Brentano studied mining and finance in Halle and medicine in Jena and moved with several important figures of the era becoming a member of the Heidelberg romantic circle.

His first marriage to the poet Sophie Mereau in 1803 lasted less than 3 years until her death in childbirth in 1806 during which period he started collaboration with Achim von Arnim on Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a collection of German folk songs and poems which became influential to later artists of the romantic era. He married the younger Auguste Busmann in 1807 but unhappiness drove him to an unsettled existence. He moved to Berlin until 1818 after which he withdrew to a monastery in Dülmen, Westphalia becoming secretary to a visionary nun until her death in 1824. He continued to exercise his faith in Regensburg, Frankfurt and Munich dying at Aschaffenburg.

He was an important member of the romantic movement writing poetry characterised by imagery and expression as well as several plays.