Koidula, Lydia

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Koidula, Lydia


(pseudonym of Lydia Emilie Florentine Jannsen). Born Dec. 12 (24), 1843, in Vandra, in present-day Pärnu Raion; died July 30 (Aug. 11), 1886, in Kronstadt. Estonian poet and playwright.

Koidula’s work was first published in 1863. She is known in the history of Estonian literature as a lyric poet and the author of the collections of poems Field Flowers (1866) and The Emajögi Nightingale (1867). Her work reached its prime in the atmosphere of the national movement of the 1860’s through 1880’s. Koidula’s romantic poetry is an impassioned expression of love for the homeland and for her people, who were enslaved by Baltic barons. She sought to awaken in her people a national consciousness, the will to struggle, and faith in the future. She advocated the unity of the Estonian people, but she failed to see that social contradictions were developing. Many of Koidula’s poems became popular songs. She laid the foundation for the national drama with her plays The Cousin From Saaremaa (1870) and Such a Mulk, or a Hundred Pura of Salt (1872). Koidula’s works influenced the development of Estonian literature. The Koidula House-Museum was opened in Pärnu in 1945. In 1946 her remains were transferred to Tallinn.


Kogutud luuletused. Tartu, 1925.
Teosed, vols. 1–2. Tallinn, 1957.
Luuletused. Tallinn, 1969.
In Russian translation: Stikhi. Moscow, 1945.
Izbrannoe. Tallinn, 1950.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1961.


Vinkel’, A. “O zhiznennom i tvorcheskom puti Lidii Koidula.” In the collection Ob estonskoi literature. Tallinn, 1956.
Sööt, B. Lydia Koidula. Tallinn, 1961.
Pöldmäe, R. Koidula teater. Tallinn, 1963.
Mihcla, K. Lydia Koidula elu ja looming. Tallinn, 1965.
Eesti kirjanduse ajalugu, vol. 2. Tallinn, 1966. Pages 249–96.
Laidvee, H. Lydia Koidula, bibliografia, 1861–1966. Tallinn, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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