Peter Andreas Heiberg
Biography of Peter Andreas Heiberg
Peter Andreas Heiberg (November 16, 1758 – April 30, 1841) was a Danish author and philologist. He was born in Vordingborg, Denmark. The Heiberg ancestry can be traced back to Norway, and has produced a long line of priests, headmasters and other learned men. Peter Andreas Heibergs father was the Norwegian-born headmaster of the grammar school in Vordingborg, Ludvig Heiberg, while his mother was Inger Margrethe, daughter of the vicar at the manor of Vemmetofte Peder Heiberg, a relative of Ludvig Heiberg, and Inger Hørning, who came from a family of wealthy Danish merchants.
His father died when Heiberg was just two years old, and his mother moved with the children to live with her father at Vemmetofte near the town of Faxe in Zealand. This was to be Heiberg's home until he went to grammar school, from which he graduated in 1774. In 1777 he took the greater philological exam, and in 1779 he left Copenhagen, presumably due to gambling debts. He then went to Sweden to join the Swedish military forces. One and a half years later, his family bought him out of his military service, and after a short stay in Uppsala, he went to Bergen, where he stayed with his uncle for three years. In Bergen Heiberg met several writers who inspired him to start writing himself. After his return to Copenhagen, he used his linguistic skills to get a job as an interpreter. Heiberg also translates a publication by the French writer Jean-Charles Laveaux, which was highly critical towards the upper class, this was likely the reason why Heiberg chose to publish the translated version anonymously. In 1790, Heiberg marries the 16 year old Thomasine Buntzen with whom he has the son Johan Ludvig.
Many of Heiberg's role models were French and usually marked by the ideals of the enlightenment age.
His début novel Rigsdalersedlens Hændelser (1789) critically describes merchants, the nobility and the German influence on Denmark. This novel highly angers the Danish upper class, but Heiberg keeps writing similarly critical songs, articles, essays and plays. This leads to Heiberg being banished on Christmas eve, 1799. He had previously been given many warnings and fines for his works full of criticism of the government, but following the new harsher censorship laws by the ruler crownprince Frederick in September 1799 he was accused and sentenced retroactively to banishment. Hereafter, Heiberg settles in Paris where he lives until his death in 1841.
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Peter Andreas Heiberg Poems
Op, I brave Marseillaner, Op at kæmpe hver Galliens Mand, Tyranniets det blodige Banner Vaier over vort Fædreneland.
Mener Du, At Den Har Lykken Fat,
Mener du, at den har lykken fat, som i sin Haand holder snese Rigers Tømmer? Hviler han i rolig Søvn hver Nat,
For Ret Os Paa Jorden At Fryde,
For ret os paa Jorden at fryde, vi skabtes til Frihed af Gud; fornuftige Love vi lyde,
Hver Mand i Byen om Indtoget taler, Om Transparenter og Dandserens Gang. Decorationer og Porte man maler;
Min Politiske Omvendelse
Jeg skrev saa tidt med vanhellig Pen, Min ringe Geist var i Satans Eie; Tak skee dig, ærede Folkeven,
Har Jeg Kuns En Lumpen Daler
Har jeg kuns en lumpen Daler, Notabene som er min; nogle Flasker og Pokaler, Notabene fyldt med Viin,
Op, I brave Marseillaner,
Op at kæmpe hver Galliens Mand,
Tyranniets det blodige Banner
Vaier over vort Fædreneland.
Hører I Lyden af Fjendens Kanoner?
Hører I ei, hvor han brøler Harm?
Snart myrder han i Eders Arm
Eders Børn, Eders Fædre og Koner.
Til Vaaben, i Gevær,