1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Thümmel, Moritz August von
THÜMMEL, MORITZ AUGUST VON (1738–1817), German humorist and satirical author, was born on the 27th of May 1738 at Schönefeld near Leipzig. Educated at Rossleben and the university of Leipzig, where he studied law, he held from 1761 till 1783 various offices in the ducal court of Saxe-Coburg, where he became privy councillor and minister of state. He retired in 1783 and died at Coburg on the 26th of October 1817. He wrote a comic prose epic, Wilhdmine, oder der vermählte Pedant (1764); and Die Inoculation der Liebe (1771), a tale in verse. His most famous work is his Reise in die mittäglichen Provinzen von Frankreich im Jahre 1785–1786 (1701–1805), a “sentimental journey” in ten volumes, in which the influence of Wieland is unmistakable. Schiller, who found this work wanting in aesthetic dignity, yet allowed that the keen knowledge of men and things it displays makes it a valuable contribution to literature. Thummel's other writings are unimportant.
His collected works were published at Leipzig in six volumes (1812), and again in 1820 (7 vols.), with a biography by J. E. von Gruner. The most recent edition is that of 1855 (8 vols.). See also F. Bobertag, Erzählende Prosa der klassischen Periode vol. i. (Kiirschner's Deutsche Nationalliteratur, vol. exxxvi., 1886). Wilhelmine has also been edited by R. Rosenbaum (1894).