In 1831, Reuter started to study at the University of Rostock, and in 1832 went to the University of Jena. At Jena he joined a Burschenschaft (political students' club). In 1833 he was arrested in Berlin by the Prussian government. He had only been only wearing the club's colours, but he was condemned to death for high treason. King Frederick William III of Prussia changed this to imprisonment for thirty years. In 1838 he was sent to a prison in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and he spent two years in the fortress of Dömitz. Reuter was set free in 1840, when Frederick William IV became king of Prussia.
After his release from prison, Reuter started studying law again at the University of Heidelberg but had to leave and go back to Stavenhagen and help to run his father's farm. When his father died, he gave up farming, and in 1850 became a private teacher in a little town then called Treptow-an-der-Tollense in Pomerania. Here he married Luise Kunze, the daughter of a Mecklenburg pastor.
Ut de Franzosentid and Ut mine Stromtid are Reuter's best books. In them he describes the men and women he knew in the villages and farmhouses of Mecklenburg. Ut de Franzosentid is set at the time of the fight against Napoleon. Ut mine Stromtid describes the revolutionary movement of 1848.
In 1863 Reuter moved from Neubrandenburg to Eisenach and here he died on 12 July 1874. In the books he wrote at Eisenach were not as good as his earlier writings.
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Further reading [change]
- Otto Glagau: Fritz Reuter und seine Dichtungen. Berlin: Lemke, 1866 (2nd ed. Berlin: Grote,1875)
- Hermann Ebert: Fritz Reuter: sein Leben und seine Werke Güstrow: Opitz, 1874
- Friedrich Latendorf: Zur Erinnerung an Fritz Reuter: verschollene Gedichte Reuters nebst volkstümlichen und wissenschaftlichen Reuter-Studien. Poesneck: Latendorf, 1879
- Karl Theodor Gaedertz: Fritz Reuter-Studien. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1890
- Karl Theodor Gaedertz: Aus Reuters jungen und alten Tagen : Neues über des Dichters Leben und Werke. 3 Bde. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1894-1900
- Briefe von Fritz Reuter an seinen Vater aus der Schüler-, Studenten-, und Festungszeit (1827 bis 1841) hrsg. von Franz Engel. 2 Bde. Braunschweig: Westermann, 1896
- Abraham Römer: Fritz Reuter in seinem Leben und Schaffen. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1896
- Gustav Raatz, Wahrheit und Dichtung in Fritz Reuter's Werken: Urbilder bekannter Reuter-Gestalten. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1895
- Ernst Brandes: Aus Fritz Reuters Leben. 2 Tle. Strasburg i. Westpr.: Fuhrich, 1899-1901 (Wissenschaftliche Beilage zu den Schulnachrichten des Gymansiums Strasburg i. Westpr. 1899, 1901)
- Karl Friedrich Müller: Der Mecklenburger Volksmund in Fritz Reuters Schriften: Sammlung und Erklärung volksthümlicher Wendungen und sprichwörtlicher Redensarten im Mecklenburgischen Platt. Leipzig: Hesse, 1901
A complete bibliography of Fritz Reuter can be found in the Niederdeutsches Jahrbuch for 1896 and 1902.