Educated at the University of Leipzig, Richter studied literature but was unable to finish his schooling due to financial constraints. He returned home in 1787 and began work as a tutor until 1790 when he founded a small school in Schwarzenbach. He began his writing career with some satires in 1783, but it wasn't until The Invisible Lodge was published in 1793 that he firmly established himself on the literary scene. It was also at this time that he adopted the pseudonym of Jean Paul in honor of Rousseau whom he admired. In 1795, his book Hesperus became a financial success. He moved to Leipzig in 1797 and, after his marriage, settled in Bayreuth in 1804. In 1808, he was awarded an annual pension and became financially secure for the remainder of his life. Richter produced a rich diversity of works and was a great influence on many writers including E.T.A. Hoffmann. His other works include Titan (1800-03), Vorschule der Aesthetik (1804), Levana oder Erziehlehre (1807), Leben Fibels (1812) and Der Komet (1820-22).
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