1.2. History of Czech literature for children

compiled by Helena Syrovátková

1.2.1. Manuscripts and first printing

Feudal Bohemia was not very different from the rest of Europe as far as the literary production is concerned. Scholarly and cultural life of the fourteenth century was confined to monasteries, the Royal Court and University, and utterly detached from the common life. All the important literature - theological, philosophical tracts and political documents - was singularly Latin. The only Czech-written literature were sacral texts (missals, psalmbooks, prayer- and hymn-books) and the only youth that got the opportunity to read them were clerical adepts. In the lifetime of Charles IV a number of legends, lives of saints, chivalry epic and books of travels were either written or translated into Czech, but such manuscripts were virtually inaccessible. Quite unique for his time was Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného (1333 - 1401-9) who addressed his religio-educational writing in Czech directly to the children of aristocrats and sovereigns, and to his own children.[1]

The period commencing after the Hussite movement ebbed away - about 1470s - and drawing up to 1620 is called a period of humanism and reformation. The ruling classes, who had sufficient resources to follow the Italian humanistic inspiration and lifestyle, used Latin for their writing. Czech was used by liberal Hussite townsmen who aspired for advancement of their class and for religious independence from Rome. The literary production was fueled by the introduction of bookprinting (approx. 1470). The sixteenth century intelligentsia, especially that of the humanist heyday (1580 - 1620), was occupied by the literary and scientific boom. Daniel Adam of Veleslavín (1546 -1599), a publisher, translator and organizer of cultural life, gathered a group of writers-scientists and published their works in various branches of science and philology. The countries of Bohemia and Moravia were hungry for knowledge and did not differentiate between genres, levels of sophistication, nor the readerhsip. The implication of the last fact is that there was nothing like intentional children's literature, and young people who could read or had the chance to be read to, were accidental readers of whatever they happened to put their hands on. Probably the most readable for young people were works that laid basis for what we now call fiction: legends, balads, books of travel... It would be, after all, a mistake not to mention the production for children that was present almost at all times, at least for the priviliged, and these are basic textbooks, mostly spelling-books. The first printed primer in Moravia that came down to our age, dates from 1547.

It was to teenage students of theology that Jan Blahoslav ascribed his Czech Grammar (Gramatika česká - 1571) with its section of proverbs. Similar advice for the children of Czech nobility as that of Tomáš Štítný two hundred years ago, was written, moreover in verse, by Jiří Karolides in 1606. [2] The popular tool of upbringing mainly in Jesuitical schools were 'school acts'. Fragments of saints' biographies were most frequently enacted.

1.2.2. In the time of suppression

After the defeat of non-catholic laity in the battle of Bílá Hora, the harsh re-catholicization began all over Bohemia. For the Czech culture and especially literary art, up till then blossoming promisingly, this meant a fatal, 150-year lapse. Non-catholic intelligentsia was forced either to conform or to leave. Great many scholars left for Poland and Germany. Comenius's language of writing was exquisite and yet straightway and intelligible; his Labyrinth (1623), written still in homeland, is said to have been read by youth. But his main contribution lies in the didactic writing[3] and, above all, in the first picture book for children between 12-14 years Orbis sensualium pictus which was bi-lingually, factually, and without obtrusive moralizing, acquainting children with the world (1658).

Meanwhile, in an inthralled homeland, the handful of patriotic scholars were striving to oppose the German and catholic efforts to suppress Czech as the language of science, and even to distort the history. The most talented and spirited was a learned jesuit historian Bohuslav Balbín (1621 - 1688), whose Epitome historica rerum Bohemicarum - where he asserted Bohemia's freedom - earned him an expatriation from Prague. His second and equally daring document defending this time the Czech language Dissertatio apologetica pro lingua Slavonica did not entail further exile only because it was published 100 years later, in 1775 at the outset of the National Revival, as a model tract of defence. First intentional children's literature had to wait for the publication until the same time.

The Czech language was cast down from official speech and literature, and for the whole 'dark age', delimited by years 1620 and 1775, lived in oral tradition among common rural folk. How rich and varied the tradition actually was, we can learn today due to a number of collectors who would, in the time of Revival, travel round the countryside and record folk tales, legends, proverbs, and also songs. But hardly anything of the folk literary art was put down before the 1830s[4]. What was put down during the seventeenth century, was not purely of folk origin, although it took its subject matter from there. These were short farces, satires and caricatures of country people written by educated townsmen who knew the Czech countryside. Similar production satirizing common town people were popular too, as well as half-traditional, half-modified drama, whose authors never failed to add contemporary social and political comments to traditional seasonal plays. This sort of 'undistinguished' drama was the liveliest part of the oral folk tradition, scarce records of which were eagerly welcome by the Revivalists.

Hymn-books, the only legitimate space for the Czech literary output within ecclesiastical orders, would substitute for missing Czech poetry, namely lyrical (Adam Michna of Otradovice, Václav Havel Holan Rovenský, Jan Josef Božan).

1.2.3 The Glorious Revival

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century the Czech countries experienced the catholic church growing less powerful to the benefit of the secular power. In 1773 the Jesuit order was banished, and consequently suppression and censorship was lifted off the literary production. The following year the Czech Royal Science Society (Královská česká společnost nauk) came into existence. Two patents of Joseph II from 1781 abolished bondage and introduced freedom of denomination. The influence of Enlightenment mirrored in the introduction of compulsory school attendance from 1775 on. The circumstances were favourable for the national cultural life to be established anew.

Initial years of the Revival did not bring any novelty into books for children. Natural inertia kept jesuistic bigotries and moralising textbooks in circulation. The new wind came only with the Revival activist Václav Matěj Kramerius (1753 -1808), journalist, writer and publisher. Kramerius endeavoured to draw on the glorious pre-crisis time of Czech literature, and as a start he began with bridging the dark age over by publishing old Czech legends and patriotic defences of language, as well as translated materials. Himself writing, translating and editing, he also encouraged his literary friends to writing, and managed to launch entertaining and educational programme centered around his publishing house the Czech Expedition (1780 - 1800, later taken over by his son Václav Rodomil Kramerius - till 1824). The Czech Expedition did not aim at high-brow literature; they wanted to supply both young and old generations with solid reading of quality, yet in an intelligible and entertaining form. In line with the Enlightenment ideas they were liberal, forward and rational. Their contribution to the Czech children's literature was comparable to that of John Newbery, at least in terms of 'discovering' children as a distinct sort of readership; and I daresay - far greater and grander for its educational and revivalistic aims. [5]

Paralelly with the efforts of prose-writing Kramerius and his stable to establish original Czech novelist production, a catholic priest Antonín Jaroslav Puchmajer (1769 - 1820) strove for the development of poetry. Between 1795 and 1814 he and his fellow-poets published five almanacs of original and adapted poetry in which they applied new Dobrovský's syllabo-tonic principles of prosody, and implemented all kinds of poetic genres: ode, elegy, idyl, epos, ballad, epigram. With these efforts they deliberately cultivated a high style of poetry that would appeal to a lettered and aristocratic audience. But eventually it was the fable (mostly Lafontaine's) that brought the greatest renown, and became soon popularized especially among the young. Slightly didactic but formally well-rendered, Puchmajer's fables in verse were in that particular time (turn of the century) almost the only 'really' children's domestic writing.

Josef Jungmann (1773 - 1847), the 'patriarch' of the nation, was a man of scientific interest in matters of language and literature, and his activities (he laid basis for literary criticism, translatology, and science in Czech) had very little immediate effect on children's literature. Perhaps only his romance Oldřich a Božena (Oldřich and Božena, 1806) - the first Czech iambic poem - having been included in a reading-book, became favourite with the young generation 'for its democratic tone' (Polák, 1987). 'For the benefit of the Czech patriotic youth...' [6] read the subheading of his Slovesnost (1820) - a sort of first literary theory and stylistics; a book intended for advanced students.

In the Baroque period (17th and a greater part of 18th cent.) solely the hymnody was an admissible way of cultural expression. Folk oral and singing tradition came to be noticed only with a wave of nationalism and romanticism in Europe at turn of 19th century. Then, songs began to gain in importance as national symbols, began to be published and distributed. They positively influenced the current revivalistic atmosphere and inspired poets and musicians. František Ladislav Čelakovský (1799 - 1852) was a modern bard, a multilingual poet who translated folk songs not only of Slavonic nations but of linguistically most distant nationalities as e.g. Chinese, Greek, Peruvian. Throughout his life he collected Slav proverbs in a comprehensive Mudrosloví národu slovanského v příslovích (Folk-lore of the Slavonic Nation in Proverbs, 1851). Čelakovský's biggest contribution consists in his own poems that imitated specific features of national folk ballads and songs. He called such a production Echoes, and intended to produce echoes of each Slavonic nation. Eventually, he managed to write Russian and Czech ones (Ohlas písní ruských - 1829, Ohlas písní českých - 1839). In accordance with the contemporary patriotic fervour he intended the poems to be recited in family circles and social occasions, and therefore mixed poems for adults with those for children and about children. Those for the purpose of recitation didn't have a typical song structure, but were rhythmical and memorable, and were called declamation poems. Thus Čelakovský 'invented' a type of poem that was used and composed plentifully during the whole Revival period. It was happily utilized in the work of Karel Alois Vinařický (1803 - 1869), the prime children's poet of the time, whose entertaining as well as informational poems found way into children's folklore, and are known even today (Tluče bubeníček, Ivánku náš). His poems, ballads, songs (including notes) and riddles were published in three books, always titled similarly, with slight alternations - Kytka básniček. Dárek malým čtenářům (A Posy of little poems. A present for little readers - 1842, 45, 52).

1.2.4. Folk oral tradition

Initial phases of forming the quality children's literature were supported by a tale - a stable, almost constant phenomenon in the Czech children's literature, appearing in 1840s in collections of folk tales.

For the purpose of this study it is necessary to use a simple word 'tale' when referring to the phenomenon generally. Any attribute that is otherwise unmarkedly used with the root word, like fairy-tale or folk-tale, acquires here a specific meaning. In Czech a superordinate term 'pohádka' enables easy manipulation, considering that a thorough typology has been developed ever since the critical interest in oral narratives arose. Czech collectors

The very first collection came out in 1838 by Jakub Malý (Národní české pohádky a pověsti). It contained so far unrecorded fairy-tale motives, but author's treatment of the material - his diffuse description, unnecessary dramatizing and stressing the ghostly motives - did harm to the overall effect of the work.

More authentically read the tales by a Moravian ethnographist Matěj Mikšíček (individual volumes coming out between 1843 - 47), yet they are not completely clear of author's bookish inserts.

Due to romanticism was folk narrative tradition no longer perceived as a mere thematic source. It was promoted to the position of an artistic ideal, a form that could reflect the spiritual legacy of a nation. Grimm bros were the pioneers of the idea - in contrast to the previous arbitrary or superficial manipulation with the formation, they regarded the tale as an individual genre, and attempted to preserve its original narrative character as much as the literary record enabled it. Their version is renowned, perhaps infamously, for naturalist depiction of cruelties, vendettas, moral deviations in characters, but such was the objectivity of their method that they didn't attempt to sweeten nor this side of folklore.

The respectful attitude was shared by Karel Jaromír Erben (1811 - 1870), a happy combination of a scientist and artist. Erben took serious interest in ethnography, and collected and studied the folk narratives his whole life. His literary adaptations were therefore neither mere transcriptions of narratives, nor author's own creative impulses. He would, as Grimms did, choose the most congruous version out of more narratives. His tales were in his lifetime individually published in literary magazines, he died before he managed to put together a long-planned collection; this was accomplished by Václav Tille in 1905 (České pohádky - Czech Fairy Tales). Erben's adaptation is, compared to the Grimm brothers, distinctly focused on moral ideals within the stories, and on aesthetic and poetic qualities of the form. [7] In the minds of Czech population his tales stand out as a norm for classical tale.

Erben also composed his own poetry inspired by the folk ballad. Over twenty years he was elaborating on his ballads, legends and tales, all in verse, which finally formed a classic, a prime work of poetry of the Revival time - Kytice z pověstí národních (A bouquet of national legends, 1853).

Although there existed different approaches to the tale phenomenon, classical adaptation of Erben's type had its followers well into the twentieth century (sic). A noteworthy personality among folk-lore collectors was Moravian Beneš Method Kulda (1820 - 1903). Sušil's disciple[8] and ethnographer above all, Kulda implemented very precise and modern methods in recording the narratives. As it came to publishing his two hundred tales, some in more than one version, this genuine man was torn between two contrary principles. First, his creed of scientist commanded him to preserve the narration as authentic as possible - in terms of content, style and lexis. Second, his incorruptible ethos and fixed ideas on standard of literary production prevented him from publishing half of the corpus, and made him undesirably interfere with the dialects and with morally imperfect elements in what he did publish. Despite this vigorous censorship his two volumes of tales, legends, customs and superstitions (1854, 1874 - 75) had a glorious public reception, receiving objections solely from the self-contained race of critics who had the chance to compare with the original records.

Learned folk-lore enthusiasts carrying on with the collecting efforts at the beginning of the twentieth century, had to face a harsh decline in oral narrative tradition.

'A mass of printed material... suppressed the indigenous oral tale, and, what's worse, it changed the aspirations and morals of common folk.... I had to for example listened patiently to four different tales under one heading, joined forcibly and discontinuously into one.'

Jan František Hruška (1865 - 1937), in the preface to his tales of the Chodsko region, Na hyjtě[9]

Yet, another collector Josef Štefan Kubín (1846 - 1965) found regions (Kladsko, Podkrkonoší) where he could record (starting in 1902), perhaps in the last moments of existence, spontaneous tellers and their rich and thematically varied tales. Cunningly, he avoided the Kulda sort of agony over the right choice of unobjectionable material, and divided his publications into those faithful and authentic, and those for children. In years 1924 - 44 he produced eighteen children's books of tales, using both classical adaptation and his own original - and valuable - writing. Refining the tale

Slightly different was the attitude of Božena Němcová (1820 - 1862), the author of first excellent collection that came out in seven volumes between 1845-47 - the years of her stay in the upland Chodsko region. Němcová was since her youth in lively contact with the circle of patriotic writers and intellectuals, and reflected her ideas of an ideal society in her writing. Not being trained in methods of recording the folk narration, she acted in her writing as a narrator herself - did not diverge from the plot, yet deliberately cultivated coarse passages, extended descriptions, added psychological moments, and drew more distinctly genuine morals of the characters. 'While Erben discovered the tale as a genre of folk culture, Němcová found the way from the tale to life.' [10] The book that she is mainly remembered for - Babička (Grandmother, 1855) was not intended for children, although it is nowadays promptly classed as one. The work indeed is both 'catching' and 'touching' for all generations because Němcová enchanted it with her warmest memories of childhood, mixed with her ideal of community.

Although the decades after Němcová's contribution were not devoid of books of tales of good quality, for the purpose of this brief study only the truly outstanding authors will be mentioned.

Václav Říha (1867 - 1937) produced twelve books of tales in years 1900 - 1930, treating the subject matter with the artist's sensitivity and backing it with profound theoretical and historical knowledge which enabled him to work with the largest scope of tale-types ever. No wonder, since under the pseudonym the professor of comparative history Václav Tille was concealed. Prior to his creative period (in the field concerned) Tille had hoped for the Erbenian method of straight transcription, but the Valachian region of the late 19th century would no longer furnish folk tellers.

While rich and eloquent depictions, but no spontaneous or emphatic dialogs in Říha's tales revealed an intellectual of lofty moral and artistic values, the work of František Hrubín (1910 - 1971) was characteristic by kind humour and appreciation of simple human virtues. His Špalíček pohádek (Bundle of Tales, 1960) doesn't draw on any particular traditional material, yet his imitation of tale structure is so faithful that it feels like 'real' tales.

Similar is the 'technique' of Jan Drda (1915 -1970). A shift towards the reality is apparent in his České pohádky (Czech tales, 1958). Yet, the inner contact with the tradition seeps through the jovial narration and rural way of thought, through the typical characters and motives. Transcending the tradition

The downfall of Bach's regime in 1859 terminated the 37-year period of strong Austrian oppression, and the following years were marked by a vigorous cultural boom, precedented only by the feverish revivalistic efforts. In 1866 the Czech language was declared equal to imperial German, and could be taught in elementary and secondary schools. [11] This was the mighty impuls for the development of literature. For the first time, literature could be considered an influential tool of intellectual education as well as moral upbringing. These were the conditions for establishing a specific, independent branch - literature for children. The 1870s witnessed reforms of library funds: special commities of teachers were issuing lists of books approved and undesirable. The purges according to Chaloupka & Voráček put an end to books with sentimental, moralizing and bigot tendencies. [12] At the same time they created an empty space which was naturally felt as a challenge by those concerned with education. Many a time they were teachers who attempted to fill it with practical textbooks as well as with fiction of value, stripped of literary didacticism.

Literature of these tumultuous days discovers innovatory topics and forms of expression: it is mainly realism in depiction of rural life; memoirs of childhood appear, historical story gets revived. The turn of the century extricated the child character from wider context of the novel, and made him/her a hero.

But let us return to the tale - that loyal companion of the Czech literature at all times. The situation of the 1870s placed the tale in a position of a potential conveyor of aesthetics and morals. The function existed even before, but never so pronounced and intentional. In faithful transcriptions it was usually completely absent, but often apparent in author-adapted versions, and presently it was thought of by some as the main purpose of the tale.

The presupposition for that purpose was total liberation from the codes of the genre, leaving writer's hands free for creative use of individual motives and principles. This was already happening - the total tranformation of the basic concept offered far-reaching possibilities, and adequately large danger of falling into a kitsch.

Not particularly happy but the first author of a 'literary' tale was Sofie Podlipská (1833 - 1897) with her romanticising Povídky pro mládež (Collection of tales for the young, 1872) with a lot of magic effects and no substantial plot-line behind them. The true pioneer of the modern tale was Eliška Krásnohorská (1847 - 1926) who started by enriching 'conventional' tales with ethic dilemmas and their solving processes, and went on to her own fables with unique subject-matter and characters.

Except for a few bright exceptions, though, the new-born subgenre was for a considerable time represented by epigone work of low quality. This crisis went so far as to the resenting articals in Úhoř - a critical magazine of children's literature in 1913. Moreover, the negative criticism didn't differentiate between the modern and traditional tale, so the whole genre was at stake. Nevertheless, the sophisticated counter-argumentation of advocates like Tille, and, above all, a special almanac of modern tales[13] edited by Karel Čapek, won the tale its respect back. It was further enhanced by writers like Jiří Mahen (1882 - 1939) and his two books of mostly mythology and etiological tales; Josef Lada (1887 - 1957) with humorous paraphrases, Václav Čtvrtek (1911 - 1976) whose Rumcajs series became, due to the TV, notoriously familiar, just like any other folk-lore character. (It is difficult to categorize Čtvrtek's work: a great deal of independence in themes classifies Rumcajs as a literary tale, while by creating a sort of illusionary folk-tale it verges on the adaptation method.)

The post-war literary scene brought another classical tale collection, and that is Fimfárum by Jan Werich (1905 - 1980). Traditional tale structure is still crucial here but within it the idylic tale-like past acquires connection with the sober present, the borderline between canonical tale elements and modern contribution gets blurred, as well as the distinction between child and adult in audience. Yet, Werich is not interested in experiments with the subject matter or form like e.g. Lada, he in fact restores the original function of a tale - a mirror reflecting the movements of the soul - only makes the mythical seep through to our reality.

Karel Čapek is the author of undeniable, and yet ambivalent significance as far as the tale is concerned. He who lead it out of the crisis, later brought a definite (and fatal) demystification of the genre. Max Luthi in 1947 wrote a study of European tales in which he says: "Tale has reached such a high degree of formal perfection that it has been depleted, and its further development has proved impossible; the only way for it to continue is to turn to humour." [14] Čapek did so already in 1932. His Devatero pohádek (Nine Tales) is an elaborate destruction of the fairy-tale illusion. The juxtaposition of fairy-characters with their magic and their ordinary 'human' troubles turns the idiom virtually inside out in front of its audience' eyes. Genčiová finds the phenomenon specifically Czech. [15] Similar de-mystifying approach offered Josef Lada in Nezbedné pohádky (Topsy-turvy Tales, 1939).

1930s were the fertile years in children's authors, and tale-writers specifically (J.John, K. Poláček, V.Vančura, V. Řezáč). In 1936 Vítězslav Nezval wrote his Anička Skřítek a slaměný Hubert (Annie the Gnome and Straw Hubert) - the first Czech nonsense book, largely influenced by Carroll's Alice, first good translation of which was issued in 1931. Genuinly Czech nonsense came into existence only in the 60s (M. Macourek).

1.2.5 Opposing by poetry

1850s were most unfavourable times for Czech literary production. Writers were persecuted, books and magazines banned. The field of children's literature luckily escaped the undesirable attention of a German censorship. Contrary to the decreasing trend in adult's magazine production (solely Lumír), three children's and three pedagogical magazines were being issued, becoming a platform for those silenced in other literary spheres. Paradoxically, the 50s can be titled as the founding era of translation for young readers - The Last of the Mohicans, Gulliver's Travels, and Uncle Tom's Cabin acquired their first Czech versions in 1851, 52, 53 respectively.

The year 1859 meant a restoring of public and social life, and writing for children had to recede into the background. [16] In 1867 the enfeebled Austrian Empire declared the freedom of science and thought, which in practice transferred the school institution from the control of Church to the hands of Monarchy. While the school reforms and school library purges in the 70s had the air of secularization, in the early 80s the confessional character was re-imposed, and in 1885 a new pressure on schools to return to German exclusively arose. Both represive measures were only stimuli for mobilization of writers and poets. An almanac combined of stories, poems and songs by Sládek, Vrchlický, Zeyer, Jirásek, Heyduk, Rais and others came out in 1889 (Našim dětem - To the Czech Children), and a whole new epoch of children's literature was launched.

1880s were the years in which the literature for children was no longer looked down upon as a minor, utilitarian culture. There was a conscientious effort to turn it into art. Especially poetry had an invaluable support in Josef Václav Sládek (1845 - 1912). In his initial volumes of poetry Sládek included only sections of poems about children; when himself becoming a father, he started writing for children - Skřivánčí písně (Skylark's Songs, 1888) is for the youngest age, Zvonky a zvonečky (Bells and Bluebells, 1894) for teenage children.

Poetry seems to have fared better than prose of the time since before and after Sládek many a talented poet aimed at children's audience, to name just one - Josef Kožíšek (1861 - 1933), a teacher with deep understanding of his pupils' world; but no one actually managed to achieve Sládek's richness of images and sound.

The time of political upheaval was monitored by artists joined temporarily by contributing to specialized almanacs - politically and patriotically oriented Ruch (Sládek, Čech, Krásnohorská; 1868, 70, 73), and strictly l'art pour l'art Lumír (Sládek, Vrchlický, Zeyer; 1877 - 98). They generally didn't deal with children's topics, except for Sládek and Eliška Krásnohorská (1847 - 1926). Not so successful as a children's poet and story-writer, she became popular with a Czech girl's novel, competing with- and replacing the abundant German production of this sort. Svéhlavička (1887) - a story about a dogged, self-opinioned little girl changing in boarding school into a cultured young lady - gained a positive acceptance so immense as to make Krásnohorská continue with the heroine's life story in three more sequels in 1900 and 1907.

Children's prose in 1870s was equally devoid of noteworthy books. Jan Karafiát's Broučci (Beetles), published in 1876, curiously enough fell into oblivion but were revived, with a lasting effect, twenty years later. This family and animal story in one, anchoring in Christian values, did not moralise but touched the readers with its poetic quality. The realistic trend of the 'big literature' did not yet enter its younger counterpart, apart from the historical story and founder legends - a stream represented by A. Jirásek, K.V.Rais, V.B.Třebízský.

1.2.6 Social realism in children's stories

Gradually a newly-established rural story, though at first rather idylic and idealized, brought realism along. Realistic writing in children's literature stayed unaffected by the new streams in literature of the turn of the century. Neither impressionist, symbolist, new-romantic, vitalist, nor decadent art were applicable to it. What did influence writing for the young was the theme of poverty and social conflict. Josef Polák in Synoptical history... [17] suggests that in the first years of the twentieth century many writers set to work of innitiating the youth into harsh reality of worker's families. I was doubtful whether the so called socially-critical realists (Jindřich Šimon Baar, Karel Půlpán) really intended their stories about orphans dying of hunger and disease, to be read by children. That they did is proved by their being published in children's magazines, and also by the opinions of Josef Krušina (1850 - 1914), a teacher who knew and wrote about the very bottom of society. Krušina detested fairy-tales, arguing that they conceal social reality from children, and in his books he attempted to reach the contrary. Out of his truly alarming and indelicate stories Vendův poklad ("Venda's Treasure", from the book of stories Z prvních potyček (The First Clashes, 1907)[18]) is the most repulsive: Venda longs for finding a treasure that would save his poor parents and an ill sister; a piece of musty meat burried by a dog becomes the 'treasure'. Having consumed it, his sister dies of poisoning.

Fortunately, other genres were available too. Czech literature completely lacked adventure story, and its place was systematically filled with translations since 1850s. Innocent adventures of childhood made the Czech alternative to the genre: Franta Župan - Pepánek Nezdara (four volumes in between 1907 - 1921), and Marie Gebauerová - Jurka (1902).

Sieglová, Naděžda - Literatura pro mládež na Moravě, MZK Brno, 1996
Polák, Josef - Přehledné dějiny české literatury pro děti a mládež a četby mládeže, SPN Praha, 1987
Chaloupka, Otakar; Voráček, Jaroslav - Kontury české literatury pro děti a mládež, Albatros, Pha, 1984
Šmahelová, Hana - Návraty a proměny, Albatros Praha, 1989
Kopecký, Milan - Starší česká a slovenská literatura, SPN Praha, 1982
Genčiová, Miroslava - Literatura pro děti a mládež, SPN Praha, 1984
Polák, Josef - Česká literatura 19. století, SPN Praha, 1990
1 Knížky šestery o obecných věcech křešťanských and Řeči besední, respectively

2 Navedení mladého věku k poctivým mravům a svobodným literním uměním. The author wrote also Sententiae morales.

3 Česká didaktika - 1632, Informatorium školy mateřské - manuscript found only in 1856

4 E.g. J.K.Tyl published rather romanticised and sensational versions of tales in years 1833 - 1844

5 It's interesting to compare the style of Czech and English literary histories; how grand, highly ideological, seen in far-reaching historical context, and having a positive progressing development, is the Czech view of history, and how ordinary, even down-to-earth are the motives of historical progress in the eyes of an English literary historian.

6 Slovesnost aneb sbírka příkladů s krátkým pojednáním o slohu. K prospěchu vlastenské mládeže...

Josef Polák - Česká literatura 19. století

7 Hana Šmahelová - Návraty a proměny, p. 110

8 František Sušil (1804 - 1868). On Čelakovský's incentive he began to collect folk songs from 1824 on, and in 1835 published a large collection Moravian Folk Songs.

9 In: Hana Šmahelová, op.cit., p.113

10 ibid., p.137

11 In 1866 is the year of introducing Czech in schools according to Polák - Česká literatura 19. století, (p.117), while Kontury české lit. pro děti a mládež by Chaloupka, Voráček, mention the year 1869, (p.16)

12 Chaloupka, Voráček - Kontury české literatury pro děti a mládež, p.16

13 Three volumes of The Hamper of Tales coming out 1918 - 20, including works both of established writers and gifted beginners like Čapek-Chod, A. M. Tilschová, V. Dyk, K.Poláček, J. John...

14 Luthi, M. - Das europaische Volksmarchen. Bern 1947. In: Miroslava Genčiová - Literatura pro děti a mládež, p.32

15 M.Genčiová - op.cit.

16 Josef Polák - Přehledné dějiny české literatury pro děti a mládež a četby mládeže

17 Josef Polák - Přehledné dějiny české literatury pro děti a mládež a četby mládeže

18 Josef Krušina - Z prvních potyček, 1907