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The Nameless Castle   By: (1825-1904)

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[Illustration: Dr Maurus Jókai]




Translated from the Hungarian Under the Author's supervision By S. E. BOGGS




This is not the first occasion upon which it has been my good fortune to win appreciation and approval for my works from the reading public of the United States. Up to the present, however, it has often been under difficulties; for many of my works which have been published in the English tongue were not translated from the original Hungarian text, while others, through want of a final perusal, were introduced to the public marred by numerous faults.

In the present edition we have striven to give the English reading public a correct translation, for which an authorized text has been utilized by the Doubleday & McClure Co., who have sole right for publishing future English translations of my books.

Between the United States and Hungary we discover many common traits: the same state creative energy in the predominant people, which finds expression in constitutional forms, relying upon the love of freedom, which unites so many different races in one uniform whole; the same independent institutions; the same ideas in religion, in ethics; the same respect for women, the same esteem of labor, the same mental culture; a striving after progress, yet side by side with this a high respect for traditions; the same poetry of agriculture, the same prose of industry; rapid progress of both, and in consequence thereof an impetuous growth of towns.

Yet, while we find so many common traits between America and Hungary in the great field of theory, those typical figures which here in Hungary represent such theories must make a novel and extraordinary entrée in the New World, that they may deserve to win the interest of the foreign reader.

Hungary still represents a piece and parcel of the Old World; she is not so much Europe as a modern Asia. My novels centre round those peculiar figures of Hungarian common life; and in every work of mine a bit of history of true common life will be found described. I have had a particular delight, however, in occupying myself with foreign countries, especially with the East. There have been years when I was compelled to choose subjects for novel writing in foreign parts.

In English and in Hungarian literature we find a common trait in that humor which is discovered also in the tragic; a characteristic of the nation itself.

It is with perfect confidence and in good hope that I present my present work (translated so faithfully) before the much esteemed English reading public. May God bless that home of freedom, by whose example we have learnt how to unite the greatness of the state with the welfare of the people.


BUDAPEST, May 11th, 1898.


A Sketch

To a man who has earned such titles as "The Shakespeare of Hungary" and "The Glory of Hungarian Literature"; who published in fifty years three hundred and fifty novels, dramas, and miscellaneous works, not to mention innumerable articles for the press that owes its freedom chiefly to him, it seems incredible that there was ever a time of indecision as to what career he was best fitted to follow. The idle life of the nobility into which Maurus Jókay was born in 1825 had no attractions for a strongly intellectual boy, fired with zeal and energy that carried him easily to the head of each class in school and college; nor did he feel any attraction for the prosaic practice of law, his father's profession, to which Austria's despotism drove many a nobleman in those wretched days for Hungary. It was Pétofi, the poet, who was his dearest friend during the student life at Pápa; idealism ever attracted him, and, by natural gravitation toward the finest minds, he chose the friendship of young men who quickly rose into eminence during the days of revolution and invasion that tried men's souls... Continue reading book >>

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