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The Essential Goethe By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Essential Goethe by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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First published by Wordsworth Editions 1999 and 2007. First published by Princeton University Press in 2016.

The Essential Goethe Summary

The Essential Goethe by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The most comprehensive one-volume collection of Goethe's writings ever published in English

The Essential Goethe is the most comprehensive and representative one-volume collection of Goethe's writings ever published in English. It provides English-language readers easier access than ever before to the widest range of work by one of the greatest writers in world history. Goethe's work as playwright, poet, novelist, and autobiographer is fully represented. In addition to the works for which he is most famous, including Faust Part I and the lyric poems, the volume features important literary works that are rarely published in English-including the dramas Egmont, Iphigenia in Tauris, and Torquato Tasso and the bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, a foundational work in the history of the novel. The volume also offers a selection of Goethe's essays on the arts, philosophy, and science, which give access to the thought of a polymath unrivalled in the modern world. Primarily drawn from Princeton's authoritative twelve-volume Goethe edition, the translations are highly readable and reliable modern versions by scholars of Goethe. The volume also features an extensive introduction to Goethe's life and works by volume editor Matthew Bell.


  • Selected poems
  • Four complete dramas: Faust Part I, Egmont, Iphigenia in Tauris, and Torquato Tasso
  • The complete novel Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
  • A selection from the travel journal Italian Journey
  • Selected essays on art and literature
  • Selected essays on philosophy and science
  • An extensive introduction to Goethe's life and works
  • A chronology of Goethe's life and times
  • A note on the texts and translations

The Essential Goethe Reviews

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016
A rich new anthology ... which valiantly seeks to display every facet of Goethe's genius.---Adam Kirsch, New Yorker
Succeeds in presenting Goethe from as many angles as can be fitted in between the covers of a single tome: the scientist beside the poet, the tireless observer of nature and eagle-eyed critic of art and society, the philosopher alongside the novelist and playwright.---Osman Durrani, Times Literary Supplement
This meticulously prepared edition brims with Goethe's radiant insights and reflects his stunning virtuosity, confirming again his paramount position in European letters. * Publishers Weekly *
Answers a need for a one-volume English translation of Goethe's most significant works.... An excellent, serviceable book. * Choice *
[T]his is the best available one-volume anthology of Goethe's works, spanning the full range of his output of poetry, drama, novels, literary criticism, autobiography, philosophy and science. The scope and insight of his work is extraordinary and his style eminently readable in every discipline.---David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

About Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was one of the greatest writers of the German Romantic period. Matthew Bell is professor of German and comparative literature at King's College London. His books include Goethe's Naturalistic Anthropology and Melancholia: The Western Malady.

Additional information

The Essential Goethe by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Used - Like New
Princeton University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

Customer Reviews - The Essential Goethe