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The page of Mácha, Karel Hynek, English biography

Image of Mácha, Karel Hynek
Mácha, Karel Hynek


Karel Hynek Mácha (16 November 1810 – November 5, 1836) was a Bohemian romantic poet.
His lyrical epic poem Máj (May), which was published in 1836 shortly before his death, was judged by his contemporaries as immoral and a threat to society. The work was rejected by publishers, and was published by a vanity press at his own expense, not long before his early death. Mácha's reputation improved after his death and Máj is now regarded as the classic work of Czech Romanticism. He also authored Pictures From My Life, a collection of autobiographical sketches, and the 1835-36 novel Gypsies, as well as several individual poems.
Mácha studied law at university; during that time he also became involved in theatre, where he met Eleonora Somkova, with whom he had a son out of wedlock. He was fond of travel, enjoying trips into the mountains, and eventually moved into Litoměřice in order to have a relaxing atmosphere to prepare for law school exams and to write poetry. On the very day he was supposed to be married to Somkova, just a few weeks after he had begun working as a legal assistant, Mácha died after a short period of illness. The exact cause of his death is unknown, but both cholera and appendicitis had been suspected.
He is buried at the Vysehrad cemetery in Prague, Czech Republic. A statue was erected in his honor in Petrin Park, Prague. The biographic film Karel Hynek Mácha was made by Zet Molas (a pen name of Zdena Smolová) in 1937.
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