"Schiller needed the scent of apples rotting in his desk in order to write"


Friedrich von Schiller
Public DomainFriedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller was one of Germany's most famous Romantic poets. Closely associated with Goethe, he wrote Ode to Joy which Beethoven set to music in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony and which is well known as the European anthem. Schiller had a suitably scandalous love life that revolved around the twin Lengefeld sisters, the younger of whom he married. Apart from the eccentric creative stimulus provided by his drawer full of rotting apples, Schiller's workspace was further spiced up by the lead, copper and arsenic that scientists examining artefacts for a new museum in his birthplace of Marbach found in samples of its wallpaper.