Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is of course one of the great authors of World literature. His oeuvre is vast, varied, and enduring. But during his long lifetime he accomplished so much more beyond mere literary output. Goethe not only wrote such classic works as The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust, but he also published books and articles on botany, minerology, anatomy, chromatics, and optics. And, while in the service of Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar, he acted variously as diplomat, finance minister, military reformer, theater director, road commissioner, university administrator – and perhaps, most importantly, as a collaborator, inspiration, and friend to a long list of the leading authors of the age.
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