Goethe’s deep and lifelong interest in granite is well known. This essay explores his investigations into the secrets of its enigmatic nature, his belief that it precipitated from a primal ocean in which fire and water peacefully coexisted, and that […]
Here you will find Goethe’s well-known essay on granite, plus three shorter pieces he wrote between January 1784 and August 1785.
While a student in Leipzig Goethe became seriously ill, and was forced to return home to Frankfurt on his nineteenth birthday. He was taken into the care of Dr Metz who gave him a mysterious remedy, and advised him to […]
After two years in the oppressive atmosphere of the Weimar court Goethe is in need of a break, and heads for the Harz Mountains. He soothes his conscience by visiting a depressed young man, and visits several ore mines and […]
Goethe’s search for the primeval plant began in the garden behind his cottage in Weimar, and ended in the Botanical Gardens of Palermo in Sicily. But the end of his search was only the beginning of his growing botanical insight […]
Soon after his arrival in Weimar Goethe was given the responsibility of reopening a derelict copper and silver mine near the impoverished village of Ilmenau. Seven years later he officially opened the mine with a rousing speech to the miners, […]
Goethe’s lifelong interest in the origins of basalt motivated him to attempt a resolution of the Neptunist dispute, climb Vesuvius, and explore the Bohemian volcanics. He met Beethoven, faced down the formidable geologist Leopold von Buch, and fell in live […]
In the autumn of 1779 Goethe accompanied Duke Carl August on a three-month Grand Tour of Switzerland. He made his first geognostic observations in the Birs Gorge, wrote poetry, met the well known Genevan geologist de Saussure, and risked life […]