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In Love With the Czarina and Other Stories   By: (1825-1904)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Jókai Mór]

SPECIAL AUTHORISED EDITION

IN LOVE WITH THE CZARINA AND OTHER STORIES

BY MAURICE JÓKAI

TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL HUNGARIAN

WITH THE AUTHOR'S SPECIAL PERMISSION

BY LOUIS FELBERMANN

AUTHOR OF "HUNGARY AND ITS PEOPLE" ETC.

[Illustration]

LONDON FREDERICK WARNE & CO. AND NEW YORK

[ All rights reserved ]

CONTENTS

PAGE INTRODUCTION 9 IN LOVE WITH THE CZARINA 17 TAMERLAN THE TARTAR 57 VALDIVIA 111 BIZEBAN 141 THE MOONLIGHT SOMNAMBULIST 151

DEDICATED TO HUNGARY'S GREATEST WRITER

MAURICE JÓKAI

BY LOUIS FELBERMANN

"From him I took it; to him I give it" EASTERN PROVERB

London 1894

INTRODUCTION

The entire Hungarian nation king and people have recently been celebrating the jubilee of Hungary's greatest writer, Maurice Jókai, whose pen, during half a century of literary activity, has given no less than 250 volumes to the world. Admired and beloved by his patriotic fellow countrymen, Jókai has displayed that kind of genius which fascinates the learned and unlearned alike, the old and the young. He enchants the children of Hungary by his fairy tales, and as they grow up into men and women he implants within them a passion for their native land and a knowledge of its splendid history such as only his poetic and dramatic pen could engrave upon their memory. His versatility of talent for, besides being the Hungarian poet laureate, he is a novelist, playwright, historian, and orator enables the Hungarians to see in him their Heine, their Byron, their Walter Scott, and their Victor Hugo.

Jókai began his career at a period when Hungary aspired to political freedom, and his powerful pen, in combination with that of his familiar friend, Alexander Petofi, Hungary's greatest lyric poet, was mainly instrumental in rousing the nation to arms. In 1849, when the Hungarian nation had sustained a cruel defeat, it was Jókai who cheered the flagging spirits of the Magyars, and by the potency and skill of his extraordinary pen influenced that reconciliation between Sovereign and people which was ultimately accomplished by Hungary's greatest statesman, Francis Deák.

The Hungarian language is one of the richest of Turanian tongues, and particularly lends itself to the didactic and romantic styles. So far back as the beginning of the thirteenth century we find traces of Hungarian literature, and, if it had been permitted to develop, Hungary might now have possessed a literature second to none in the modern world. But in consequence of political struggles the Hungarian language and literature had to give way, at times, either to the Latin or German races, so much so that as late as 1849 all scientific subjects had to be taught either in German or in Latin. It was then that a few patriotic Magyars took the matter acutely to heart, and strove to restore the language and literature of their country, with the happy result that Hungary now, in proportion to its population, comes immediately after Germany in the number of its universities, colleges, and scientific institutions, where all subjects are taught in the Hungarian language only .

Maurice Jókai is not only one of those who restored Hungarian literature, but is the creator of a particular style of romance, which stamps his works as unique, and has caused them to be eagerly read, and translated into almost every modern language. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Hungarians, who are a cultured race, should delight in showing all honour and respect to the veteran author, who has given to the world over a hundred splendid works on all subjects, comprising 250 volumes.

Jókai is descended from a middle class family, a fact which he is always proud to own, and has no ambition to rise in higher spheres of society, although the greatest people in the land, including the Empress Queen herself, favour him with their personal friendship... Continue reading book >>




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