Claas Hugo Humbert

Claas Hugo Humbert (* August 5, 1830 in Ditzum, † May 26, 1904 in Bielefeld, Germany ) was a German - French linguist and one of the most important " Molieristen " of his time, who advocated for a positive reception by Molière and Victor Hugo in Germany.

Curriculum vitae

The Humbert family, who came from Picardy, settled at the time of Napoléon in Ostfriesland, as Ostfriesland was as Département Ems - Oriental still part of the French Empire. After the fall of Napoleon the Father Hugues Humbert, who was married to a Frisian from an old Honoratiorenfamilie decided to stay in East Frisia, which initially became a province of the British Empire Hanover and eventually became Prussian. Claas Humbert enjoyed a polyglot training; He spoke and read German, French, Dutch, English, Spanish, and Latin, Greek and Hebrew. After attending school in La Capelle thiérache ( where he lived with his grandmother ) and Ditzum, he studied in Berlin, Bonn, Göttingen and Jena. He then became a teacher of languages ​​(later Professor ) in East Friesland ( 1854-55 ) and Westphalia ( 1856-1899 ).

In 1862 he began to write books and essays on French and English literary history. The post of a professor at the School of Bielefeld ( 1866 ) gave him the opportunity to publish academic work on Molière and discuss its role in the history of literature. Between 1869 and 1883 he published his three most important books on Molière, as well as over a hundred articles in Romanists and other journals in Germany and France, the French and English literature, history, Molière, Cervantes and Shakespeare. In his works he discussed particularly the popular conception of an insurmountable opposition between the " Germanic culture " and the " Roman civilization ". Humbert fought against such an ideology of cultural differences between France and Germany, and proved on the basis of the texts of earlier German and English critics of Molière and other writers, that there is no basis allow such hypotheses. Victor Hugo wrote to him in 1878 in a letter: "La France et l' Allemagne sont faites pour S'aimer ". ( 'France and Germany are made ​​to love each other .')

His first major monograph of 1869 ( Molière, Shakespeare and the German criticism ) has been processed by a French author who for a prize of the Académie française received (Paul Stapfer, Molière et Shakespeare, Paris 1886). Humbert is the only foreign Romanist, who was mentioned in the introduction to the oeuvre de Molière ( Collected Works of Molière ') 1873, edited by Eugène Despois.


  • Schiller, Lessing, Goethe, Molière and Dr. Paul Lindau: Goethe Molière, together with some remarks of Lessing and Schiller. In 1885. ( Digitized )
  • The laws of the French verse: an attempt to explain them in the spirit of the people; with special reference to the Alexandrians. 1888 ( digitized )
  • Again the e muet and the presentation of French verse: to complete, to raise awareness and defense. 1890 ( digitized )
  • " About Shakespeare's Hamlet ." 1897 ( digitized )
  • Among Molière's life and works and to Shakspeare's Hamlet. 1899 ( digitized )