Jena had only about five thousand inhabitants at the time, but for a while in the early nineteenth century it was the center of German intellectual life. In one house (Leutragasse 5) you had living, at the same time, Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel, Caroline Schlegel, Dorothea Veit, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Friedrich von Hardenberg (“Novalis”), and Ludwig Tieck.
How is that for “small group theory“?
Fichte, Goethe, and Hegel show up as well!
The author of the book is Peter Neumann, and the subtitle is The Republic of Free Spirits. It is not captivating (Germanic style, then translated), but I found it valuable nonetheless. Which other contemporary work covers this remarkable assemblage of talent?