Hermann Hesse (German pronunciation: ) (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.
Hesse was born in the Black Forest town of Calw in Württemberg, Germany to a Christian missionary family. Both of his parents served with a Basel Mission to India where Hesse's mother Marie Gundert was born in 1842. Hesse's father, Johannes Hesse, the son of a doctor, was born in 1847 in Estonia. The Hesse family had lived in Calw since 1873, where they operated a missionary publishing house under the direction of Hesse's grandfather, Hermann Gundert.
Hesse spent his first years of life surrounded by the spirit of Swabian piety. In 1881, when Hesse was four, the family moved to Basel, Switzerland, staying for six years then returning to Calw. After successful attendance at the Latin School in Göppingen Hesse began to attend the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Maulbronn in 1891. Here in March 1892 Hesse showed his rebellious character and in one instance he fled from the Seminary and was found in a field a day later.