Gotthelf, Jeremias yārāmē´äs gôt´hĕlf [key], 1797–1854, Swiss writer and clergyman. His real name was Albert Bitzius; his pen name is that of the hero of his autobiographical Bauernspiegel (1837). Gotthelf, working as Protestant pastor in Bern canton, took an active interest in the education and economic improvement of the poverty-stricken rural population. His 38 volumes of prose are characterized by Christian fervor, humor, sincerity, and vigor. Many were written in the Swiss-German idiom. Best known are Ulric, the Farm Servant (1840, tr. 1888) and Die schwarze Spinne [The Black Spider] (1842, tr. 1975).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Miscellaneous European Literature: Biographies