Letter 400i

400i. Henriette von Hoven to Charlotte Schiller in Weimar: Würzburg, 8 March 1806 [*]

Würzburg, 8 March 1806

. . . Hoven will be losing a very nice sphere of activity, and he himself senses as much, though he also knows that he can do good anywhere he goes. [1] He makes little of university life, and indeed would gladly exchange it for any other position if Gustel were not planning on studying at a university. Although nothing has been definitely resolved, we will probably be going to Ansbach, where the count will also be going; [2] only later will the decision be made whether we will stay there.

I am not at all interested in moving to a university, especially in a small town, where one can have social contacts only at the university itself. The Jena ladies will in all likelihood no longer be as intimate as previously. [3] Niethammer is living in Bamberg, Hufeland will be going to Landshut, Paulus does not yet know where he will be going, [4] and our very, very dearest lady friend wants to go to — Italy, to Rome. [5]


[*] Source: Charlotte von Schiller und ihre Freunde, 3:279–80, here 280. Back.

[1] Friedrich von Hoven, because of his positive relationship with Maximilian I, to whom he felt a measure of loyalty, decided to leave Würzburg even though strictly speaking he did not have to, and indeed was informed by the new administration in the name of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to whom Würzburg had been ceded by the Treaty of Pressburg, that his continued presence would be welcome.

He knew, however, that as a Bavarian, i.e., as a professor who had been appointed by the preceding Bavarian administration, and especially as a Protestant, he would sooner be unwelcome in the eyes of his Würzburg colleagues at the Julius Hospital and sooner or later be the object of maneuvers to have him replaced (Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven, Biographie Von ihm selbst geschrieben und wenige Tage vor seinem Tode noch beendiget, ed. Dr. Johann Merkel [Nürnberg 1840], 206–8).

In the spring of 1806, he was appointed to a position as first Rath on the Bavarian medical board in Ansbach, where he remained until July 1806 before moving to Nürnberg as medical Rath and director of all medical institutions. Nürnberg had similarly just been incorporated into Bavaria, and the family remained there until 1836. Back.

[2] Ansbach is located ca. 50 km southwest of Nürnberg and ca. 85 km southeast of Würzburg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):


Friedrich Karl von Thürheim was instrumental, once in Ansbach, in securing Hoven the appointment with more responsibility in Nürnberg mentioned above. Back.

[3] Der Freund des schönen Geschlechts: ein angenehm und nützlicher Taschenkalender für das Jahr 1808:


The “Jena ladies” in Würzburg, the wives of those professors from Jena who had received appointments in Würzburg in 1803 or 1804 but who were now leaving, included Caroline, Karoline Paulus, Luise Hufeland, and Rosine Niethammer. Concerning their previous relationships, see the supplementary appendix on the “ladies’ war in Würzburg”. Back.

[4] Concerning the future of H. E. G. Paulus, see Dorothea Schlegel’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 23/26 February 1806 (letter 400h), note 1.

Here the future locations of the other Protestant faculty members Henriette von Hoven mentions in this letter, a map certainly none of them anticipated back when they accepted their appointments in Würzburg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):



[5] The expression “very, very dearest lady friend,” of course, is meant sarcastically. Concerning Caroline and Schelling’s latest plans for Rome, see Schelling’s letter to Georg Friedrich von Zentner on 19 January 1806 (letter 400d) (William Shepherd, Germany and Italy in 1803, Historical Atlas [New York 1926]; Rome ca. 1720: Liéven Cruyl, Ansicht von Rom mit Tiber, Engelsburg und Kuppel des Petersdoms [ca. 1720]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur Z309):):




Translation © 2017 Doug Stott