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The page of Mickiewicz, Adam, English biography

Image of Mickiewicz, Adam
Mickiewicz, Adam


Adam Mickiewicz, was born near Nowogrodek in present-day Minsk province in 1798, and educated at Vilna university, from which he was exiled to Russia for political activism. He joined writer's circles in St. Petersburg and wrote a series of exquisite sonnets based on a visit to the Crimea in 1825. His verse tales Grazyna (1823) and Konrad Wallenrod (1828) introduce the Romantic themes of sacrifice, tragic loneliness of the hero and illicit love. The greater Pan Tadeusz (1834), set in Lithuania on the eve of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, is a Homeric celebration of Poland's identity. Mickiewicz left Russia in 1831, toured Europe (meeting Goethe and others) and settled in Paris. He became the leading representative of Slavonic literature after Pushkin's death, but his many interests — politics, philology, mysticism — did not bring happiness or prosperity. His wife became insane, Poland remained partitioned, and Mickiewicz himself died of cholera in Istanbul in 1855, his remains being re-interred in Cracow Cathedral in 1890.

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