Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chamisso, Adelbert von, poet, was born in 1781 at the castle of Boncourt, in Champagne. His parents being obliged by the outbreak of the French Revolution to seek refuge in Berlin, he became in 1796 a page to the queen, and in 1798 entered the Prussian service, which, however, he left in 1806, as he would not fight against his native country. Subsequently he turned his attention to natural history, and in 1815 accompanied a Russian exploring expedition in a voyage round the world as naturalist. On his return he became curator of the Botanical Gardens of Berlin, being elected to the Academy of Science in 1835. Though he wrote several works on natural history and botany, it is on his poetry that his fame rests. His ballads and songs are masterpieces, and still retain their popularity. His most widely known production, however, is Peter Schlemihl, the story of the shadowless man, which has been translated into nearly every European language. He died in 1838 at Berlin.