Though she is often discussed in connection with her son Arthur, Johanna Trosiener Schopenhauer was a respected author in her own right. Born July 9, 1766 into a prosperous middle-class family in Danzig, the young Johanna studied languages and developed her abilities as an artist. In 1785 [1784?], she married Heinrich Schopenhauer, a merchant 20 years her senior, with whom she travelled extensively. She was the mother of two children: Arthur, well-known as a philosopher, and Adele, an author of fairy tales, novels and diaries.
The death of her husband in 1805 [1806?] ushered in a period of drastic transition and self-discovery for Schopenhauer. The following year she moved to Weimar, where she founded an important literary salon and enjoyed the company of Goethe, Wieland and others who made a habit of attending the semi-weekly gatherings. Spurred by her contact with these gifted authors, she published her first work in 1810, a post-mortem biography of author Carl Fernow. Thereafter she became increasingly active as a writer, partially out of financial necessity. Her publications include travel diaries, several collections of stories and novellas, and novels, the best known of which are Gabriele and Sidonia. Schopenhauer's later years were troubled by poor health. From 1828 she lived with her daughter Adele in Bonn, until Karl Friedrich of Weimar awarded her a pension and invited her to Jena in 1837. She died in Jena on April 16, 1838.