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Ackermann, Louise Victorine (1813-1890)
Louise Ackerman was a French poet. She was born in Paris, but spent her younger days in more rural surroundings near Montdidier, south-east of Amiens. In 1829 her father, having undertaken her early education in the philosophy of the Encyclopaedists, sent her to school in Paris. In 1838 Victorine Choquet went to Berlin to study German, and there married in 1843 Paul Ackermann, an Alsatian philologist. After little more than two years of happy married life her husband died, and Madame Ackermann went to live at Nice with a favorite sister. In 1855 she published Contes en vers, and in 1862 Contes el poesies.

She published work much different different from these simple and charming contes later in life, and it is upon these that Madame Ackermann's real reputation rests. She published in 1874 Poesies, premieres poesies, poesies philosophiques, a volume of sombre and powerful verse, expressing her revolt against human suffering. The volume was enthusiastically reviewed in the Revue des deux mondes for May 1871 by E. Caro, who, though he deprecated the impiete desespiree of the verses, did full justice to their vigour and the excellence of their form.

Soon after the publication of this volume Ackermann moved to Paris, where she gathered around her a circle of friends, but published nothing further except a prose volume, the Pensees d'un solitaire ("Thoughts of a Recluse", 1883), to which she prefixed a short autobiography. She died at Nice in August 1890.

She was resolutely Agnostic, without using that word in her Pensees d'une solitare. She wrote a poem for her tombstone which begins: "I do not know." In the strict sense she was an atheist, or perhaps an agnostic.

 
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