Adelbert Von Chamisso Biography

Adelbert von Chamisso was a famed German poet. Read this Biography to learn more about his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

Adelbert Von Chamisso

Quick Facts

Also known as: Louis Charles Adélaïde de Chamissot de Boncourt (German)
Gender: Male
Birthday: 30 January 1781
Died: 21 August 1838
Nationality: German
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Education: Humboldt University of Berlin

Adelbert von Chamisso was a famed German poet of the romantic period and is known for his first major novella, ‘Peter Schlemihl wundersame Geschichte’. Although his poems were predominantly successful during his time and age, most of his works have disappeared into obscurity. During the time he was famous, his poems were known for its innocent humor and ghoulish irony, although there were others that were presented to audiences with stark realism. A master of the lyrical forms of ‘terza rima’, Chamisso was also a reputed botanist.

Early Life & Career

Adelbert von Chamisso was born on January 30, 1781 as ‘Charles Adelaide de Chamissot’ in Champagne, France. Shortly after his birth, his family was driven out of France due to the French Revolution, following which, they settled in Berlin, Germany. In 1796, he obtained the post of page-in-waiting to the queen and entered the Prussian infantry regiment, participating in the campaign against Napoleon and his men.
During this time, Chamisso studied botany and took part in a voyage with other botanists on a Russian vessel, Rurik and consequently received an appointment at the Botanical Garden in Berlin. His works as a botanist in conjunction with other noted names such as Franz Leonhard, will always be remembered. Here, he gave the description of many unknown and important trees of Mexico and also studied noxious plants of North Germany. Some of his popular works are ‘Gesammelte Werke’ and ‘Bemerkungen und Ansichten’. The species, ‘Chammissoa’ and many other classes of plants under this variety were named in his honor.
As a poet, Chamisso is best remembered for the famous prose narrative, ‘Peter Schlemihl wundersame Geschichte’. He was also admired for his lyrical poetry, ballads and classical verses. Many of his poems were written in first person, typically recounting his own life experiences.
After being elected as the custodian of the Botanical Gardens of Berlin in 1818, Chamisso married his friend’s foster daughter, Antonie Piaste. He passed away in Berlin on August 21, 1838.

Major Works

‘Berliner Musenalmanach’
‘Peter Schlemihl’
He discovered the genus ‘Camissonia’ for plants.
‘Views and Remarks on a Voyage of Discovery’
‘Description of a Voyage Round the World’
‘Gesammelte Werke’
‘Le Compte de Comminge’
‘Frauenliebe und-leben’ (poems)


Albert von Chamisso was made the custodian of the Botanical Gardens in Berlin.
He was elected as a member of the Academy of Sciences.


The Adelbert Von Chamisso Award is a literary award given to those whose mother tongue is not German and who have achieved greatness in life. The Chamisso Island and Chamisso Wilderness have also been named after this great personality.

Famous Associations

Throughout his career, Adelbert Von Chamisso was associated with many great personalities. He worked closely with Varnhagen von Ense, with whom he cou-founded the ‘Berliner Musenalmanach’. He was also close to Julius Eduard Hitzig, Count Nikolay Rumyantsev, Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz, Gustav Schwab, Franz von Gaudy and Diederich Franz Leonhad von Schlechtendal.


He discovered a number of new botanical species and changed the face of botanical scientific research. The botanist is denoted by the abbreviation ‘Cham.’ As a poet, his reputation soared even after his death and paved the path for his successors.


1781: Albert von Chamisso was born on 30th January.
1798: He entered the Prussian Infantry.
1803: He founded the ‘Berliner Musenalmanach’.
1813: Chamisso wrote the prose narrative, ‘Peter Schlemihl’.
1815: He was appointed to the Russian ship, ‘Rurik’. It was here he discovered the new genus, ‘Camissonia’.
1818: He was made the custodian of the Botanical Gardens in Berlin.
1819: He married Antonie Piaste.
1827: Chamisso published ‘Views and Remarks on a Voyage of Discovery’ and ‘Description of a Voyage Round the World’.
1838: Adelbert von Chamisso passed away on August 21st.

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Adelbert Von Chamisso Biography

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Last Updated

June 12, 2019

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