At the Threshold of the Modern Age

Biographies Around the Year 1861

Karl König; Translated by Simon Blaxland de Lange

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  • Karl König explores the personal stories of twenty-nine pioneers whose work and experiences helped shape the late nineteenth century.
  • Volume 10 in the Karl König archive which includes The Calendar of the Soul: A Commentary; Seeds for Social Renewal; Karl König: My Task and The Child With Special Needs

Karl König explores the personal stories of twenty-nine pioneers whose work and experiences helped shape the late nineteenth-century.

216 x 138 mm
Floris Books
Karl König Archive; Philosophy of Human Life
496 pages
Publication date:
17 Nov 2011
Karl König Archive


The late nineteenth-century was an era of contrasts. On the one hand, philosophical materialism was increasing its influence over science. On the other, there was a growing social awareness and quest for spiritual values.

Karl König explores the personal stories of twenty-nine pioneers whose work and experiences helped shape that era. They include artists and writers, social reformers, philosophers and political activists, and scientists. He considers how they responded as individuals to the challenges of the changing world around them. His insights and conclusions are relevant for us today, as we face our own time of change and upheaval.

The biographies include Helen Keller (1880–1968), Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), Lou Salomé (1861–1937), Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and Adolf von Hildebrand (1847–1921).

Table of Contents

Adalbert Stifter (1805–1868) Austrian writer and painter
Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) Founder of homeopathy
Helen Keller (1880–1968) Deaf-blind author and political activist
Ernst von Feuchtersleben (1806–1849) Austrian physician and philosopher
Josef Breuer (1842–1925) Austrian physician who laid the foundations of psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Founder of psychoanalysis
Justinus Kerner (1786–1862) German poet and medical writer
Rudolf Virchow (1821–1902) German anthropologist and biologist
Wilhelm Dilthey (1833–1911) German philosopher
Rudolph Wagner (1865–1864) German anatomist and physiologist
Alma Mahler (1879–1964) Austrian socialite
Lou Salomé (1861–1937) Russian-born psychoanalyst and writer
Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) Austrian-Bohemian composer
Marie Eugenie delle Grazie (1864–1931) Writer and dramatist
Karl Eugen Neumann (1865–1915) Translator of Buddhist writings
Robert Owen (1771–1858) Industrialist and social reformer
Harry Graf Kessler (1868–1937) Anglo-German diplomat and arts patron
Charles Darwin (1809–1882) English naturalist
Charles Grant (1841-1889) Scottish poet and literary critic
Adolf von Hildebrand (1847–1921) German sculptor
Anton Dohrn (1840–1909) German Darwinist
Hans von Mareés (1837–1887) German painter
Carl Ludwig Schleich (1859–1922) German surgeon and writer


Karl König (1902-66) was well-known as a physician, author and lecturer. He began his work at the Institute of Embryology at the University of Vienna. In 1940 he founded the Camphill Movement in Scotland. Based on Rudolf Steiner's insights into human development, the special education schools for children and villages for adults with special needs are now established in many parts of the world.


For more on the significance of biographies:
Biographical Work: The Anthroposophical Basis by Gudrun Burkhard

See a full list of the books in the Karl König Archive series

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