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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Förster, Friedrich Christoph

FÖRSTER, FRIEDRICH CHRISTOPH (1791–1868), German historian and poet, was the second son of Karl Christoph Förster (1751–1811), and consequently a brother of the painter, Ernest Joachim Förster (1800–1885). Born at Münchengosserstadt on the Saale on the 24th of September 1791, he received his early education at Altenburg, and after a course of theology at Jena, devoted some time to archaeology and the history of art. At the outbreak of the War of Liberation in 1813, he joined the army, quickly attaining the rank of captain; and by his war-songs added to the national enthusiasm. On the conclusion of the war he was appointed professor at the school of engineering and artillery in Berlin, but on account of some democratic writings he was dismissed from this office in 1817. He then became connected with various journals until about 1829, when he received an appointment at the royal museum in Berlin, with the title of court councillor (Hofrat). He was the founder and secretary of the Wissenschaftlicher Kunstverein in Berlin, and died in Berlin on the 8th of November 1868. Förster’s principal works are: Beiträge zur neueren Kriegsgeschichte (Berlin, 1816); Grundzüge der Geschichte des preussischen Staates (Berlin, 1818); Der Feldmarschall Blücher und seine Umgebungen (Leipzig, 1820); Friedrich der Grosse, Jugendjahre, Bildung und Geist (Berlin, 1822); Albrecht von Wallenstein (Potsdam, 1834); Friedrich Wilhelm I., König von Preussen (Potsdam, 1834–1835); Die Höfe und Kabinette Europas im 18. Jahrhundert (Potsdam, 1836–1839); Leben und Taten Friedrichs des Grossen (Meissen, 1840–1841); Wallensteins Prozess (Leipzig, 1844); and Preussens Helden in Krieg und Frieden, neuere und neueste preussische Geschichte, 7 volumes (Berlin, 1849–1860). The three concluding volumes of this work contain the history of the war of liberation of 1813–14–15. He brought out an edition of Hegel’s works, adapted several of Shakespeare’s plays for the theatre, wrote a number of poems and an historical drama, Gustav Adolf (Berlin, 1832).

Many of his lesser writings were collected and published as Kriegslieder, Romanzen, Erzählungen und Legenden (Berlin, 1838). The beginning of an autobiography of Förster, edited by H. Kletke, has been published under the title, Kunst und Leben (Berlin, 1873).