Herman Hesse was born in the Black Forest town Calw, of Christian Missionary parents who had served in India, returning to Calw in 1873, where they operated a missionary publishing house under the direction of Hesse’s grandfather, Hermann Gundert.
Hermann Hesse spent the first years of his life surrounded by a spirit of Swabian piety to which he increasingly rebelled and was placed in a mental institution in Stetten im Remstal.
At the end of 1892 he attended the Gymnasium in Cannstatt in 1893 he passed the one year examination, which concluded his schooling.
By 1898 Hesse was writing poetry and working in the bookshop- Heckenhauer, in Tübingen, which had an extensive collection of books specializing in theology, philology and law. After the end of each twelve-hour working day Hesse pursued his own interests studying theological writings and the works of Goethe, Lessing and Schiller.
In 1901 he made his first visit to Italy and later the same year moved to Basel.
With the publication of his first novel, Peter Camenzind, he became a free author.
In 1904 he married Maria Bernoulli and moved to Gaienhofen on Lake Constance where his interest in Buddhism was rekindled, which would later lead to the publication of Siddhartha followed by Steppenwolf.
In 1927, the year of his 50th birthday, he moved to Montagnola, where he wrote his last major work, The Glass Bead Game.