Heinrich was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in either 1797 or 1799. In 1831 he took exile in France, where he often struggled financially despite irregular patronage from a millionaire uncle. With freedom of speech he developed an international reputation for the lyricism, wordplay, irony, and excoriating satire of his poems, and was called the last of the Romantics. In 1841 he married Crescence Eugénie Mirat (“Mathilde”), who cared for him during eight years of paralysis; he wrote from bed until his death in 1856. His books would eventually be burned by the Nazis, creating prophecy out of his statement, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” His tomb is in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris.