Joined: 27 Nov 2011
Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:21 pm
Post subject: Klementyna Tanska Hoffman
I’m very excited to have rediscovered a once famous Polish writer. She was one of the first women in Poland to make a living as a writer and educator. This from her diaries, “As it is a thing sufficiently rare,” she says on 1st March 1829, “that a woman born in the higher ranks of society should be able to maintain herself suitably by literary labour, I have resolved to note down my pecuniary history.” The sum total of her gains by the pen in the course of ten years was 41,873 Polish florins (zloty), about £1,040.
I don’t know how she reads in Polish, but in translation she is every bit as elegant and full of wit as a Jane Austen. Here is a snippet from her “The Journal of Countess Francoise Krasinska”...
‘To whom could I bring myself to say, “Does he prefer me? Has he fallen in love with me?” Those are the thoughts perpetually occurring to me, the questions my heart perpetually asks and longs to utter. But to no one can I confide them. My Parents are far away and the manners of my aunt are anything but inviting to confidence. I should fear her as a cold-hearted severe judge. The Woivode is good and kind, but how could I—any girl—bring herself to tell those thoughts to a man? I am completely abandoned to myself without anyone to advise or help me!”’
After the November uprising in 1830 she was forced to flee to Dresden before she settled in Paris, where she ran a school for Polish ladies. There is a little more about her here, http://ow.ly/8qvdG
Has anyone else heard of her? Has anyone read her in Polish?