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HEINRICH LAUBE (1806–1884)

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 276 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HEINRICH LAUBE (1806–1884), German dramatist, novelist and theatre-director, was born at Sprottau in Silesia on the 18th of September 1806. He studied theology at Halle and Breslau (1826-1829), and settled in Leipzig in 1832. Here he at once came into prominence with his political essays, collected under the title Das neue Jahrhunderl, in two parts—Polen (1833) and Politische Briefe (1833)—and with the novel Das junge Europa, in three parts—Die Poeten, Die Krieger, Die Biirger—(1833–1837). These writings, in which, after the fashion of Heinrich Heine and Ludwig Borne, he severely criticized the political regime in Germany, together with the part he played in the literary movement known as Das junge Deutschland, led to his being subjected to police surveillance and his works confiscated. On his return, in 1834, from a journey to Italy, under-taken in the company of Karl Gutzkow, Laube was expelled from Saxony and imprisoned for nine months in Berlin. In 1836 he married the widow of Professor Hanel of Leipzig; almost immediately afterwards he suffered a year's imprisonment for his revolutionary sympathies. In 1839 he again settled in Leipzig and began a literary activity as a playwright. Chief among his earlier productions are the tragedies Monaldeschi (1845) and Struensee (1847); the comedies Rokoko, oder die alien Herren (1846); Gottsched and Gellert (1847); and Die Karlsschuler (1847), of which the youthful Schiller is the hero. In x848 Laube was elected to the national assembly at Frankforton-Main for the district of Elbogen, but resigned in the spring of 1849, when he was appointed artistic director of the Hofburg theatre in Vienna. This office he held until 1867, and in this period fall his finest dramatic productions, notably the tragedies Graf Essex (1856) and Montrose (1859), and his historical romance Der deutsche Krieg (1865–1866, 9 vols.), which graphically pictures a period in the Thirty Years' War. In 1869 he became director of the Leipzig Stadttheater, but returned to Vienna in 1870, where in 1872 he was placed at the head of the new Stadttheater; with the exception of a short interval he managed this theatre with brilliant success until his retirement from public life in 1880. He has left a valuable record of his work in Vienna and Leipzig in the three volumes Das Burgtheater (1868), Das norddeutsche Theater (1872) and Das Wiener Stadttheater (1875). His pen was still active after his retirement, and in the five years preceding his death, which took place at Vienna on the 1st of August 1884, he wrote the romances andnovels Die Bohminger (188o), Louison (1881), Der Schatten-Wilhelm (1883), and published an interesting volume of reminiscences, Erinnerungen, 1841–1881 (1882). Laube's dramas are not remarkable for originality or for poetical beauty; their real and great merit lies in their stage-craft. As a theatre-manager he has had no equal in Germany, and his services in this capacity have assured him a more lasting name in German literary history than his writings. His Gesammelte Schriften (excluding his dramas) were published in 16 vols. (1875—1882) ; his Dramatische Werke, in 13 vols. (1845—1875) ; a popular edition of the latter in 12 vols. (1880—1892). An edition of Laube's Ausgewahlte Werke in Io vols. appeared in 1906 with an introduction by H. H. Houben. See also J. Proelss, Das junge Deutschland (1892); and H. Bulthaupt, Dramaturgie des Schauspiels (vol. iii., 6th ed., 1901). L'AUBESPINE, a French family which sprang from Claude de l'Aubespine, a lawyer of Orleans and bailiff of the abbey of St Euverte in the beginning of the 16th century, and rapidly acquired distinction in offices connected with the law. Sebastien de 1'Aubespine (d. 1582), abbot of Bassefontaine, bishop of Vannes and afterwards of Limoges, fulfilled important diplomatic missions in Germany, Hungary, England, the Low Countries and Switzerland under Francis I. and his successors. Claude (G. 1500-1567), baron of Chateauneuf-sur-Cher, Sebastien's brother, was a secretary of finance; he had charge of negotiations with England in 1555 and 1559, and was several times commissioned to treat with the Huguenots in the king's name. His son Guillaume was a councillor of state and ambassador to England. Charles de 1'Aubespine (1580-1653) was ambassador to Germany, the Low Countries, Venice and England, besides twice holding the office of keeper of the seals of France, from 163o to 1633, and from r65o to 1651. The family fell into poor circumstances and became extinct in the 19th century. (M.P.*)
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