Originally published in 1774 in Germany, and republished in 1787 following Goethe’s revision, The Sorrows of Young Werther was the 18th-century version of an instant bestseller. It led to a social phenomenon known as “Werther Fever” in which young European men would dress in the style of Werther as described in the novel. An early and prime example of the Sturm und Drang (“storm and stress”) German literary movement and a strong influence on the later Romanic movement, The Sorrows of Young Werther has been translated into every modern language. In this epistolary novel, the titular narrator tells his story mostly through letters to his best friend, Wilhelm, tracing the doomed trajectory of Werther’s unrequited love for a young woman named Charlotte.
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