Raumer, Friedrich Ludwig Georg von, 1781—1873
by Benjamin Colbert
Friedrich Ludwig Georg von Raumer was born on 14 May 1781 at Wörlitz, near Dessau-Rosslau, the eldest son of Georg Friedrich von Raumer (1755-1822), a director of public administration (Kammerdirektor), and Charlotte Louisa Adelheid von Raumer, née de Marées (1761-1811). He was educated at the Joachimsthal Gymnasium at Berlin and, at seventeen, studied law and economics at Halle ant Göttingen Universities.
From 1801 he held several posts in public finance while pursing research in German economic history. In 1809 he became councillor at Potsdam and, the following year, Minister of Finance at Berlin. In 1811, he became a professor at Breslau to devote more time to historical studies; he also held a professorship at Berlin from 1819.
A visit to Venice in 1815 led to his conviction that further travel was necessary for gathering comprehensive historical data. After seeing his Die Herbstreise nach Venedig ‘Journey to Venice’ (1816) into print, he toured Germany, Switzerland, and Italy from summer 1816 to autumn 1817, gathering information for his Geschichte der Hohenstaufen ‘History of the Hohenstaufen’ (6 vols, 1823-25), a work of historical synthesis that established his German reputation. He travelled in Paris and the south of France in 1830, witnessed the July Revolution, and published his impressions of it in Briefe aus Paris im Jahre 1830 ‘Letters from Paris in 1830’ (1831). His Briefe aus Paris ‘Letters from Paris’ (1831), also from this tour, detailed his research on sixteenth and seventeenth-century Parisian history.
Von Raumer travelled to England in 1835 and moved quickly to publish his account in England im Jahr 1835 ‘England in 1835’ (1836), forcing his English translator, Sarah Austin, to turn to Hannibal Evans Lloyd for help completing the edition published by John Murray in London the same year, a volume that made Von Raumer more widely known in the English-speaking world. Translations of Von Raumer’s travel writings followed: Italien (1840) was translated into English as Italy and the Italians (1840); H. E. Lloyd followed this with his translation, England in 1841 (1842). Von Raumer also travelled to the United States and William W. Turner translated his Die Vereinigten Staaten im Nord-amerika (1845) as America, and the American People (New York 1846).
From the late 1840s, Von Raumer played an increasing role in politics, supporting the Prussian imperial unification of Germany. He continued to publish histories and memoirs into the 1860s. He died at Berlin in 1873.
‘Raumer, Friedrich Ludwig Georg’. Neue Deutsche Biographie. Historishen Kommisssion, Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenshaften. Web. 21 Jan. 2018.
‘Memoir of Professor von Raumer. (From the “Conversation’s Lexicon.”)’. England in 1835: A Series of Letters Written to Friends in Germany. By Friedrich von Raumer. Trans. Sarah Austin. Vol. 1. London: John Murray, 1836. [xix]-xxxiii. Print.
Raumer, Friedrich von. Lebenserinnerungen und Briefwechsel. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1861. Print.
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