Commemorative Program in Maulbronn

Remembering Caroline Schelling
Commemorative Program on 6 September 2009
in the Maulbronn Town Hall

(from Maulbronn Current Events, summer 2009)

Two hundred years ago, on 7 September 1809, Caroline Schelling, wife of the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, died in Maulbronn. The couple had journeyed from Munich for a brief visit in the Maulbronn monastery, where Schelling’s father had been the prelate for several years. Caroline returned exhausted from an excursion with Schelling and others and died within a few hours of dysentery. Schelling’s grief was infinite. The beautiful obelisk alongside the church, which the philosopher had erected with an inscription for his beloved wife, keeps her memory alive today.

The memorial on Sunday, 6 September 2009, in the Fruchtkasten (town hall) of the Maulbronn monastery commences after the welcome at 3:30 p.m. with a reading from Caroline Schelling’s letters and a theater performance by the Karlsruhe Theater Company at 4:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. the well-known author Eckart Kleßmann will speak on “I was bold, but not wanton. The Life of Caroline Schlegel-Schelling.”

Admission is free, but the theater company would appreciate a modest voluntary contribution.

The event is directed by the International Schelling Society and supported by the town of Maulbronn, the town of Leonberg, and the Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg (from the program announcement [photo: translator]).


Selected Pictures from the Memorial Program


Guests arrive in the Maulbronn Town Hall
The Karlsruhe Theater Company begins its performance of
An Inhospitable Isle. Defiantly Happy.



“We were profoundly moved while reading the letters of Caroline Schlegel-Schelling to her friends and family, letters not intended for the public, letters that are instead intimate, unaffected documents of self-expression. These moving documents of an extraordinary personality, of a woman who acquired and exercised the ‘art of living’ amid the most adverse circumstances, provided the biographical foundation for our unique interpretations. In which passages do these stored life experiences, this ‘historical material,’ either contrast or merge with our own lives?” — (from the company’s theater bill)



Readings from Caroline’s letters:

“The dramatization (ten scenes) emerged from the red thread of Caroline’s biography. Our portraits of six women were drawn from Caroline’s various personality traits and life periods. Passages from her letters prompt the various female characters to enter into the action, where paths for change are revealed. We became aware for the first time of the power a letter, a sentence from a letter, or merely a single word from a letter might have in plunging a person down into hell or elevating that person up into heaven.” — (from the company’s theater bill)


Musicians accompany the performance.


See also the supplementary appendices on Maulbronn and Caroline’s gravesite in Maulbronn.