He was born in Glasgow, on Charlotte Street, the son of Aberdeen banker, Alexander Blackie (d.1846) and Helen Stodart. He was educated at the New Academy and afterwards at the Marischal College, in Aberdeen, where his father was manager of the Commercial Bank.
After attending classes at Edinburgh University (1825-1826), Blackie spent three years at Aberdeen as a student of theology. In 1829 he went to Germany, and after studying at Göttingen and Berlin (where he came under the influence of Heeren, Otfried Müller, Schleiermacher, Neander and Böckh) he accompanied Bunsen to Italy and Rome. The years spent abroad extinguished his former wish to enter the Church, and at his father's desire he gave himself up to the study of law.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe German: 28 August 1749 - 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.