Thomas Mann was born on June 6, 1875 in Lübeck. His father was a prosperous grain merchant and a prominent figure in the city. When his father died in 1891, Thomas's mother moved to Munich with his three younger sisters. Thomas and his older brother Heinrich also soon left the north German town where they had grown up. Both would later become noted authors.
Thomas Mann's first great literary success was the novel Buddenbrooks (1901), for which he would later receive a Nobel Prize (1929). In 1905 Mann married Katia Pringsheim. Out of that union came six children, three of them also became writers (Erika, Klaus and Golo Mann). After the Nazis came to power in Germany, Mann took his family to America. Except for a few visits to his homeland after 1945, Mann remained in the U.S. until leaving California in 1952 after being labeled a communist "fellow traveler" during the red scare era. He moved to Switzerland, where he died in 1955.
Of his marriage and his book, Royal Highness, Mann said in his Nobel prize acceptance speech, "In 1905 I married the daughter of Alfred Pringsheim, who had the chair of mathematics at the University of Munich. On her mother's side my wife is the granddaughter of Ernst and Hedwig Dohm, the well-known Berlin journalist and his wife, who played a leading role in the German movement for women's emancipation. From our marriage have come six children: three girls, of whom the eldest has gone into the theatre, and three boys, of whom the eldest has also devoted himself to literature.
The first literary fruit of my new status was the novel Königliche Hoheit (1909) [Royal Highness], a court story that provides the frame for a psychology of the formal-representative life and for moral questions such as the reconciliation of an aristocratic, melancholic consciousness with the demands of the community."
Mann's diaries, unsealed in 1975, tell of his struggles with his homosexuality, which found reflection in his works, most prominently through the obsession of the elderly Aschenbach for the 14-year-old Polish boy Tadzio in the novella Death in Venice. Anthony Helibut's biography Thomas Mann: Eros and Literature (1997) was widely acclaimed for uncovering the centrality of Mann's sexuality to his oeuvre. Gilbert adair's work The Real Tadzio (2001) describes how, in the summer of 1911, Mann had been staying at the Grand Hotel des Bains on the Lido of venice with his wife and brother when he became enraptured by the angelic figure of Władysław (Władzio) Moes, an 11-year-old Polish boy.
Thomas Mann's works include:
•  Buddenbrooks / Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie (1901)
•  Tonio Kröger (1903)
•  Royal Highness / Königliche Hoheit (1909)
•  Death in Venice / Der Tod in Venedig (1912)
•  A Man and His Dog / Herr und Hund (1919)
•  The Magic Mountain / Der Zauberberg (1924)
•  Joseph and His Bothers / Joseph und seine Brüder (1933-43)
•  Doctor Faustus / Doktor Faustus (1947)
•  Confessions of the Confidence Man Felix Krull / Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (1954)

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