The Sorrows of Young Werther

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A loosely autobiographical novel, this was Goethe's first major success, turning him from an unknown into a celebrated author practically overnight. The majority of the story is a collection of letters written by Werther, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament, sent to his friend Wilhelm. In these letters Werther gives a very intimate account of his stay in the fictive village Wahlheim, where he meets and falls in love with Charlotte, who is, however, already engaged to an older man named Albert. Despite the pain this causes Werther, he spends the next several months cultivating a close friendship with both of them. Translated by R.D. Boylan and Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole

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