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1 The Manuscripts of Grünberg and Königinhof: Romantic Lies about the Glorious Past of the Czech Nation

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Chapter Summary

When the discovery of an extant manuscript of purportedly medieval lyric and epic poems written in Czech was announced on 16 September 1817, this caused a real sensation in Prague's social circles interested in Czech and by extension, Slavonic literature and languages. The discovery stirred up widespread interest also beyond the borders of the Czech Lands, particularly in Slavonic-speaking regions. The discovery of the heroic poems about the Czech and Slavonic prehistory legitimised scholarly specialisation in Slavonic literature, which won international fame, that would otherwise have been difficult to come by in the reduced Czech circumstances despite the romantic patriotism of some nobles. The discovery of the manuscript fragment was staged by Václav Hanka within the circle of his friends and supports in his native region, in Königinhof, where he was in close contact with his former fellow student, the municipal lawyer Jan Sklencka.

Keywords: Czech; Jan Sklencka; Königinhof; romantic patriotism; Slavonic literature; Václav Hanka



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