Kraszewski, Józef Ignacy

Kraszewski, Józef Ignacy

(yo͞o`zĕf ēgnä`tsē kräshĕf`skē), 1812–87, Polish writer. He was imprisoned for political activities in Lithuania and in Germany. Wandering in exile through Europe, he died in Geneva. A large part of Kraszewski's nearly 600-volume output (much of it in English translation) consists of historical novels in the manner of Gogol. His most important work is the epic Anafielas (1839–43), a trilogy concerning Lithuanian history.
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Kraszewski, Józef Ignacy


Born July 28, 1812, in Warsaw; died Mar. 19, 1887, in Geneva. Polish writer.

The son of a nobleman, Kraszewski studied at the University of Wilno in 1829–30. He was imprisoned from 1830 to 1832 for participating in a secret patriotic organization. Banished from Russia in 1863, he settled in Dresden, where he remained until 1884. Throughout his life he was active in publishing and journalism. He began publishing in 1830, gradually evolving from a romantic to a realist writer. His literary legacy consists of about 600 volumes of prose, poetry, drama, literary criticism, publicistic articles, and works on history and philosophy.

A major Polish novelist, Kraszewski is known for his cycle of novels on the history of Poland (29 novels in 78 volumes), written between 1876 and 1887, of which the best from an artistic standpoint are The Countess Cosel (1874), Brühl (1875), and An Old Tale (1876). Kraszewski’s “peasant” novels, including Ulana (1843) and Ostap Bondarczuk (1847), deal with the painful problems of the serf village. Outstanding among his social novels on contemporary themes are The Magic Lantern (1843–44) and Morituri (1874–75). The classic Polish realist writers regarded Kraszewski as their forerunner and mentor.


Cykl powieści historycznych, vols. 1–29. Warsaw, 1958–63.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., books 1–52. St. Petersburg, 1915.
Staroe predanie. Moscow, 1956.
Povesti. Moscow, 1956.


Vorovskii, V. V. “I. I. Kraszewski.” In Literaturno-kriticheskie stat’i. Moscow, 1956.
Lipatov, A. V. “luzef Ignatsii Krashevskii.” In Istoriiapol’skoi titeratury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
“Józef Ignacy Kraszewski.” In Bibliografia titeraturypolskiej: Nowy Korbut, vol. 12. Warsaw, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.