Karl Kannegiesser was born in 1783 in Wendemark and by 1827 was at the height of his powers as a poet and playwright. He had already come to Goethe’s notice as a result of his published study on Harzreise im Winter
, an early example of serious Goethe scholarship. Kannegiesser’s intimate working knowledge of Greek, Latin, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Provençal, French, Italian and English (he translated Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
for the Zwickau firm) made him one of the foremost translators of his time. He was especially admired for his version of The Divine Comedy
and his contributions to Dante scholarship. In his preface to the Byron volumes, Kannegiesser notes that he would have made a better job if he had allowed himself the freedom from the original which Byron permited himself when he translated from the classics. Kannegiesser died in 1861 in Berlin.
from notes by Graham Johnson ©