Born in 1770—the same year as Hölderlin and Hegel—Sophie Schubart married the very persistent librarian at the University of Jena, Karl Mereau, on 4 April 1793. He was not a poet, she told him she did not love him, but he continued to woo her on the merits of his colleagues. Schiller, Reinhold (soon to be replaced by Fichte), Goethe, Herder, and Wieland were all in Jena or nearby Weimar, and more talent soon followed: the Schlegels, Schelling, Novalis, Hölderlin, Jean Paul, Tieck. For an aspiring writer whose opportunities were limited by her sex, the temptation of such associations was too great. Mrs. Mereau came to Jena, quickly found a lover, published stories, poems, translations, and a novel, and gained notoriety as Fichte's one female auditor. After establishing herself as a social and literary figure, Sophie Mereau boldly, but with anguish, divorced her husband in 1801 and briefly lived off her income as a writer and editor, one of the first German women to do so. Finding herself pregnant by Clemens Brentano in 1803, she married him and then died giving birth to their third child in 1806. Her first husband, Karl, supported her as a writer, but she did not love him; her second, Clemens, opposed her writing and she loved him anyway—a contradiction symbolizing, perhaps, Mereau's conflicting instincts as an early modern woman.