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Four tales are, it is said, intended by the Author to be appropriate to the Four Seasons: the stern, grave "Sintram", to winter; the tearful, smiling, fresh "Undine", to Spring; the torrid deserts of the "Two Captains", to summer; and the sunset gold of "Aslauga's Knight", to autumn. **** The author of these tales, as well as of many more, was Friedrich, Baron de la Motte Fouque, one of the foremost of the minstrels or tale-tellers of the realm of spiritual chivalry-the realm whither Arthur's knights departed when they "took the Sancgreal's holy quest,"-whence Spenser's Red Cross knight and his fellows came forth on their adventures, and in which the Knight of la Mancha believed, and endeavoured to exist.
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Friedrich de la Motte Fouque (1777 - 1843) was a German writer of the romantic style. Although not originally intended for a military career, Fouque gave up his university studies at Halle to join the army, however, the rest of his life was largely devoted to literary pursuits. His trilogy of plays - The Hero of the North (1910), which included Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, Sigurd's Revenge, and Aslauga - was the first modern German dramatisation of the Nibelung legend. The trilogy brought Fouque to the attention of the public, and had a considerable influence on subsequent versions of the story, such as Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung. Fouque's subsequent literary activity was divided between his interests of medieval chivalry and northern mythology. Between 1810 and 1815, Fouque's popularity was at its peak, during which time Undine, the best known of Fouque's considerable body of work, appeared. Fouque has influenced many authors, including Robert Louis Stevenson, and his works are referred to in those such as Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Jo's Boys."
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