Visiting an idyllic German village, Werther, a sensitive and romantic young man, meets and falls in love with sweet-natured Lotte. Although he realizes that Lotte is to marry Albert, he is unable to subdue his passion for her, and his infatuation torments him to the point of absolute despair. The first great 'confessional' novel, drawing both on Goethe's own unrequited love for Charlotte Buff and on the death of his friend Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem. Goethe's sensitive exploration of the mind of a young artist at odds with soceity and ill-equipped to cope with life is now considered the first great tragic novel of European literature. For more than two centuries the very title of this book has evoked the sensitivity of youth, the suffering of the artist, the idea of a hero too full of love to live. When it was first published in Germany, in 1774 it created a sensation. Banned and condemned but embraced - especially by the young - it has continued to captivate. Includes illustrations.