Rzewuski, Henryk

Rzewuski, Henryk

 

Born May 3, 1791, in Stawuta, Volyn’, present-day Ukrainian SSR; died Feb. 28, 1866, in Cudnow. Count and Polish writer.

In the historical narrative Soplica’s Memoirs (1839), which takes place in the mid-18th century, Rzewuski created a gallery of types from the Polish gentry—bullies, drunkards, squabblers, and ignoramuses from Prince Radziwiłł’s retinue. Although Rzewuski’s works took an ironic stance toward their subject, they were full of admiration for the old gentry, “Sarmatian,” way of life. In the novel November (1845–46; Russian translation, 1873) the Sarmatian ideal is contrasted with Western cultural influences. Rzewuski was the author of the novels Cracow Castle (1847–48; Russian translation, 1875), Adam Śmigielski (1851), and Knight Lizdejko (1852). Rzewuski was a reactionary and an opponent of the national liberation movement. In the 1850’s he was an official under the czar’s vicegerent in Warsaw. Rzewuski edited the government newspaper Dziennik warszawski.

WORKS

Dziela, vols. 1–6. Warsaw, 1877–82.
Pamiqtki Soplicy. Warsaw, 1961.
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