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Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) is one of the towering figures of world culture, a universal man whose extraordinary talents found expression in literature, drama, autobiography, politics and the sciences. To coincide with the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth, Everyman's Library is publishing in a single volume his four principal masterpieces, together with a small selection of his poems and letters. Edited and introduced by Nicholas Boyle, author of the definitive biography of Goethe, the second volume of which will be published later this year, the Everyman's Library edition will show that Goethe remains one of the most intriguing and readable of European writers. Goethe established an international literary reputation overnight with The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), a story of disappointed love and pathological sensibility which mounted a powerful challenge to the rationalism of the Enlightenment.