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Jana Stráníková

Czech literary and non-literary writing of women in the first half of the nineteenth century


There was an article in the Czech periodical called V?nec ke zp?v?m vlasteneckým (The garland to the patriotic songs) published in 1844. Its author praised very much short poems published in various periodicals and signed by a “Marie ?acká”. The name was a pseudonym, but because of the folk themes of the poems the readers and all the Czech writers thought the (female) author was a peasant woman. This romantic idea would have filled the demands of the Czech literature which was reviving in that time. But was the idea any near to reality?

Research concerning education in that time (the level of schools, the attendance, the literacy/illiteracy in the country) shows that it was a utopic idea. Furthermore research of letters written by women shows how near or far was the writing competence of women in various social classes from the real literary production. This contribution will be concluded by introducing the real women writers acting in that time, to show what women were able to became writers.

The topic will present the results of my scholarly work focusing on the correspondence written in the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, and on the level of education in that time. It will be concentrated on the possibilities and limits of women´s literary production in Czech language in the first half of the 19th century.

SvD, November 2012

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