Among its celebrities are Johann Georg and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Heinrich Heine, Varnhagen von Ense, Peter von Cornelius, Wilhelm Camphausen and Heinrich von Sybel.
Yet he was far from approaching the analysis of emotion with the directness of a Heine or De Musset.
These place him in the sacred circle near to Heine and Leopardi, and, though strongly individualistic, it is curious to note in them the influence of Germanism on the mind of a southerner and a descendant of the Catholic navigators of the 16th century.
But his reputation in court circles was increasing; he was appointed a member of the committee for the reform of the criminal law in 1840; and, the same year with a letter of recommendation from Metternich in his pocket, visited England and France, Holland and Belgium, made the acquaintance of Thiers and Heine in Paris, and returned home with an immense and precious store of practical information.
He was well read in German literature, Heine and Schiller being his favourites, and the study of the German masters and the old classical writers of Iceland opened his eyes to the corrupt state of Icelandic poetry and showed him the way to make it better.