Skip to main content
Personal data
Caroline Kircheisen
Date of birth (prefix)
Born 1747

Daughter of Karl David Kircheisen and Henriette née Lauer.

Life with Boswell

Boswell met Caroline Kircheisen on July 12, 1764. He rented an apartment in her father's building during his Berlin stay. He described her on this first occasion as "comely, fresh, good-humoured, and gay, and had an ease of behaviour that pleased me greatly". On July 18 he wrote that "I sat by my dear Mademoiselle Caroline, whom I find more and more agreeable."

Boswell and Caroline spent some time with each other during the summer of 1764, although it can not be considered one of Boswell's amorous relationships. Even so, on July 20, he wrote that in the evening "I made Mademoiselle play me a sweet air on the harpsichord to compose me for gentle slumbers. Happy man that I am!"

The easy relationship between the two is illustrated by a letter sent by Caroline to Boswell in Brunswick, received by him around August 20, 1764:

I was delighted to hear that the Court of Brunswick does justice to your merit. Between ourselves, does this not nourish that slight tendency towards vanity that you have? Admit frankly that I have guessed right in thinking that it is nectar to you. I fancy you will come back a perfect Spaniard, and woe to whoever does not treat you humbly and respectfully. I shall already have prepared myself in advance....


I commend myself to the honour of your remembrance, and am, Sir, your affectionate friend, and (neither as mere formula nor quite seriously) your servant,


Considering the short time they had known each other and the fact that Caroline was, after all, a *female* friend, the letter here quoted is a testament to the quite singular rapport between the two, although it must also be remembered, that Caroline was a teenager of about 17 or 18 at the time.

On September 1, he wrote that

"In the afternoon I talked much with Mademoiselle Kircheisen, whom I like much. She has good sense and enough of vivacity, and she is comely. She is the only girl I ever saw constantly agreeable. She has but one fault. She loves too much to badiner, and thence is now and then a little impolite. She is a mimic, and that is dangerous."

On October 2, 1764, while visiting Halle in Saxony, he sent her some of his rather poor French verses. They included the lines "Ah! ma jolie Caroline, * Qui me charma tant de soirs!"1

  • 1Translated as "Ah, pretty Caroline, who charmed me so many evenings!" in Grand Tour I, p. 120