"Controversy as to whether Mr von Goethe and Mme von Stein had had a relationship"

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer.  He is regarded as one of the most important figures in German literature, with his work reflecting the philosophies of the Enlightenment and Romantic Movement.  His greatest works are the play Faust, and the novels The Sorrows of Young Werther and Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, the latter being one of the first examples of the literary genre known as Bildungsroman.  A polymath, Goethe’s influence on the emerging philosophical ideas of his time was profound. 

He had several important relationships with women during his life, a key one being with Charlotte von Stein, an older married woman whom he met in 1774.  She was a lady-in-waiting at the Weimar Court, and the mother of seven children.  It was never clear how physically intimate their relationship became, but Goethe’s sudden departure to Italy after ten years left her devastated.  They were later reconciled, but did not achieve the closeness of earlier times. 


Here is a collection of quotes taken from Goethe's books and letters.