German author and cultural historian. Born 1816, died 1895.
As part of the German national Romantic movement, Freytag glorified German history and the society of his day in his works.
The novel Soll und Haben (1855) praises the complacent merchant who abhors Jewish materialism. The aristocracy, while still held up as the societal ideal, is depicted as being deeply in need of the rock-steady economic common sense of the mercantile class.
After the formation of the Second German Empire in 1870/1871, Freytag drew upon his work on German cultural history, Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit (1859-1867) in writing the story cycle Die Ahnen (1872-1880), a portrayal of the new German nation-state as the culmination of German historical progress.
Freytag also wrote a theoretical work on drama, Die Technik des Dramas (1863), which is still in use today.