Herman Hesse was a poet and novelist, who explored in his work the duality of spirit and nature and individual's spiritual search outside restrictions of the society, several of Hesse's novels depict the protagonist's journey into the inner self. .
Herman Hesse was born on july 2nd, 1877 in the black forest town of Calw, in the German state of Wuttenberg to the Baltic missionary Johannes Hesse (1847- 1916) and Marie Gundert (1842-1902), the elder daughter of the famous indologist and missionary Herman Gundert. His father was born a Russian citizen in Weissenstein, Estonia and his mother was born in Talatscheri, India. From 1881to 1886, Herman Hesse lived with his parents in Basle, where his father taught at the Basle Missionary Society. In 1886, the family returned to calw.
His parents expected him to follow the family tradition in theology - they had served as missionaries in India. Hesse entered the protestant seminary at Maulbronn in 1891, but he was expelled from the school. After unhappy experiences at a secular school, hesse left his studies. .
In 1895, Hesse began to train as an apprentice book dealer in Tubingen. He devoted his spare time in the evening hours and on Sundays to writing poetry. After finishing his apprenticeship, Hesse decided to publish his literary works in order to receive acclaim and acknowledgement for his poetry. In 1898, his first collection of poems "Romantic Songs" was published.
In 1903, hesse met a lady named Maria Bernoulli. She was from a prominent family in Basle. In the summer of 1904, he married her and moved with her to Gaienhofen at Lake Constance. Hesse spent eight years in Gaienhofen. This is where Hesse spent some of his most successful years - as far as his private life and his literary career are concerned. The success of Peter Camenzind which reflected Hesse's disgust with the educational system, enabled Hesse to live as a Freelance author. At his villa at Lake Constance he also wrote Beneath the Wheel, a story about a young student.