The letters were originally written to Franz Kappus, a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Vienna Military Academy, of which Rilke was an alumnus. Discouraged by the prospect of life in the Austro-Hungarian Army, Kappus began to send his poetry to the 27-year-old Rilke, seeking both literary criticism and career advice. Their correspondence lasted from 1902 to 1908. In 1929, three years after Rilke's death, Kappus assembled and published the ten letters.
An Franz Xaver Kappus
Borgeby gård, Flädie, Schweden, am 12. August 1904
Rainer Maria Rilke