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Michael Bernays

Michael Bernays (November 27, 1834 - February 25, 1897), was born in Hamburg. He studied first law and then literature at Bonn and Heidelberg.

He obtained a considerable reputation by his lectures on Shakespeare at Leipzig and an explanatory text to Beethoven's music to Egmont. Having refused an invitation to take part in the editorship of the Preussische Jahrbücher, in the same year (1866) he published his celebrated Zur Kritik und Geschichte des Goetheschen Textes.

He confirmed his reputation by his lectures at the university of Leipzig, and in 1873 accepted the post of extraordinary professor of German literature at Munich specially created for him by Ludwig II of Bavaria. In 1874 he became an ordinary professor, a position which he resigned only in 1889 when he settled at Carlsruhe. He died there on the 25th of February 1897.

At an early age he had embraced Christianity, whereas his brother Jakob remained a Jew. Among his other publications were: Briefe Goethes an F. A. Wolf (1868); Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Schlegelschen Shakespeare (1872) ; an introduction to Hirzel's collection entitled Der junge Goethe (1875); and he edited a revised edition of Voss's translation of the Odyssey. From his literary remains were published Schriften zur Kritik und Litteraturgeschichte (1895-1899).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.