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Manuscript of "Pan Tadeusz" by Adam Mickiewicz

Adam Mickiewicz1832

Ossoliński National Institute

Ossoliński National Institute
Wrocław, Poland

Adam Mickiewicz is the foremost representative of Polish Romanticism. His extensive poem "Pan Tadeusz, czyli ostatni zajazd na Litwie" (eng. Master Thaddeus, or the Last Foray in Lithuania) written in Polish alexandrines, is the Polish national epic. The poem was written shortly after the defeat of the November Uprising and was read as a consolation and a call to work together to regain independence. Mickiewicz imbued the poem with idyllic elements, idealising the countryside and the customs of the nobility. Throughout the story, nostalgic and patriotic elements are balanced by love and humour. From the very beginning, Mickiewicz’s manuscripts were regarded as valuable keepsakes and the writer willingly gave the pages he had written to his friends in exile. The manuscript of "Pan Tadeusz" does not include the whole work, but it contains excerpts from all twelve books of the poem, both from the draft and final copies.
The manuscript of "Pan Tadeusz" was incorporated into Poland’s List in the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme in 2014 as a valuable monument of Polish culture, a historical memento and a carrier of national values.
The manuscript consists of two parts bound together: a notebook in a soft cardboard cover of 48 pages and an album of 91 pages. The whole book is bound in red kid leather cover. This original binding from 1940 was made by Aleksander Semkowicz.
The manuscript is kept in an elegant ebony box, produced in 1873 to a design by the Cracow sculptor Józef Brzostowski. The chest is additionally decorated with bas-reliefs engraved in ivory, on the side walls there are reliefs made to drawings by Juliusz Kossak, depicting scenes from the poem.
Text in Polish.

Details

  • Title: Manuscript of "Pan Tadeusz" by Adam Mickiewicz
  • Creator: Adam Mickiewicz
  • Date Created: 1832
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: h 27,8, w 21,9  cm
  • Provenance: The piece is the property of the Ossolineum since 1999. Before that, it was a deposit of the Tarnowski family, deposited with the Ossolineum in 1939.
  • Type: Manuscript
  • External Link: https://www.dbc.wroc.pl/publication/15701
  • Medium: Paper

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