Kessler, Harry ___ 1868-1937 ___ German (born France) ___ soldier

BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY
Kessler was born in Paris. His father was a banker who had been ennobled by Kaiser Wilhelm I and his mother was considered an Irish beauty. He was educated in England and in Germany, and trained for a career in the foreign service. However, he became more interested in the arts, and was involved, during the mid-1890s, in developing an elitist magazine called 'Pan'. He was particularly concerned with trying to develop the arts in Weimar, and held various appointments, including director of the ducal art museum and the art school. In 1904, he went to London to seek advice on the design of books for Insel Verlag, the innovative Leipzig publishing house, and was introduced to Eric Gill and Edward Johnston. When war broke out, Kessler led troops into Belgium and on the eastern front, but he became traumatised, apparently because his loyalties were so divided between three of the nations at war. Thereafter, he was briefly an ambassador in Poland, and became involved in peace negotiations. (Later, he turned to pacifism, and this led to him being exiled from Nazi Germany.) In the 1920s, he continued travelling and supporting the arts and producing superb editions of classical masterpieces published by his own Cranach Press. Although his 20th century diaries were published in the 1960s (in German) and 1970s (in English), earlier diaries, recently discovered, were used by Laird Easton in writing a biography 'The Red Count', published in 2002. His diaries are said to mention more than 40,000 people, some of them leading artists of the day.
A biography link
Wikipedia bio

DIARY DATES, CONTENT DESCRIPTORS
1880-1937 ___ military political social travel art culture society people

WEB TEXT LINKS
about and an extract
about
googlebooks

ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT LINKS
German Literature Archives

SOME PUBLISHED TITLES
The Diaries of a Cosmopolitan, Count Harry Kessler 1918-1939
In the Twenties; The Diaries of Harry Kessler
The Red Count: The Life and Times of Harry Kessler
 

May 2005, July 2008, April 2013
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IMPORTANT NOTES AND CAUTIONS: 1) The first line of basic information may be incomplete in several ways: some historical figures have different names (titles, pen-names); their birth and death dates may be unknown or uncertain (g - guess, c - circa); similarly, their occupations may be unknown, or they may have had other jobs; and, for early diarists, I've used 'British' a bit too freely. 2) The biographical summary may not be accurate. It was compiled quickly from various sources, mostly on the internet, and the facts were not checked anywhere near as rigorously as they would have been if they'd been intended for publication in a printed form. 3) The journal dates and descriptors (which are in no particular order) must be treated with caution: since I have not examined the diaries myself, the descriptors are only guesses based on bibliographies, anthologies and internet biographies. 4) For the biography and etext links, I have ignored any sites with charges, and I have avoided, wherever possible, those with pop-ups or too much advertising. I have limited myself to providing three etext links where there is some variety between them. 5) For the original manuscript links, I have limited myself to providing a maximum of two (although, for a few diarists, their original diaries are held in more than two places). 6) I have provided the titles - chosen randomly - for up to three printed editions of the diaries.

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