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‘At thepresent time, it is worth mentioning the Kutná Hora Epistles by Karel Havliček.’ The First Biographer of Karel Havlíček, Ludwig Rittersberg

Abstract

Karel Havlíček (1821–1856), a Czech journalist and literally a symbol of Czech journalism, has been studied by countless authors in texts of various scope and importance. Nevertheless, the journalist and writer Ludwig Rittersberg (1809–1858) will always remain the first to have extensively summarised Havlíček’s life and devoted further attention to him in his Kapesní slovníček novinářský a konverzační [A Pocket Dictionary of Journalism and Conversation], at the time when both Havlíček himself and his work had suffered from actions on the part of the authorities.

Rittersberg admitted that he had not been Havlíček’s absolute ideological supporter during the revolution of 1848 and 1849, yet he presented Havlíček’s professional career, opinions and life story to his readers in his work with considerable respect. Not only did he devote a relatively extensive entry to him, but he also referred to him in other entries. Rittersberg used such a comparison to describe expressively the situation at the time or the political situation gaining ground after the defeat of the revolution of 1848 and 1849, but also the contemporary situation in the press.

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‘The power of a country resting in agriculture is always stronger than that based on factories, which will, if indecently proliferated, only produce a large number of beggars.’
The Diseases of Central European Modernization in Austrian Pre-March (Vormärz) and Revolutionary Journalism as a Discursive Landscape

Abstract

This article is devoted to an early discussion of pauperism and the social question in the early stage of Central European industrialisation on the pages of periodicals of the Habsburg Monarchy with an emphasis on Czech journalism. The authors attempt to follow the development of the discussion from the beginning of the 1830s until the collapse of the revolution of 1848. They pay attention to the semantic dynamics of the terms and discourse that were used in connection with mass poverty, as well as the foreign models that contributed to the specific expression of ideas of the causes of the social question and its solutions. The paper studies the development of mass poverty representation at the time from the general Romantic rejection of the modernisation process to proposals for solutions to the social question, which had already been formulated on the basis of affiliation to a political group.

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The Operation of the Prague Publishing House and Printing Works of František Šimáček (1834–1885)

Abstract

The aim of the article is to outline the activities of the Czech journalist, publisher and important representative of Czech national-economic thought in the 19th century, František Šimáček. Particular attention is focused on the operation of Šimáček’s business. Through his own company, Šimáček implemented his national-economic ideas as the essence of Czech national emancipation. In his publishing programme, he emphasised the quality of the books prepared for publication (with abundant illustrations and decorative publisher’s binding) in order to gain recognition for Czech books even in the highest social classes. As an employer and journalist, he acted as a classical liberal influenced by the pioneering ideas of Vojta Náprstek, whom he often met privately as well. He became a remarkable figure of Czech national life not only in Prague. He deliberately supported it through the distribution of the printed word, both as a radical journalist, which brought him police execution and large financial losses, and as a publisher or the owner of the printing works that offered not only the production of the publishing house but also a wide range of printed materials especially for Czech savings banks.

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Lajos Kossuth and the Hungarian Revolution in Czech Society (with an Emphasis on the Works of Karel Havlíček and Ludwig Rittersberg)

Abstract

Lajos Kossuth (1802–1894) has been the symbol of not only the revolution in Hungary in 1848 but also of the Hungarian national movement in general. The article draws attention to some major published reflections of Hungarian politics and mainly its representatives in the Czech press in 1848–1852 with particular focus on Lajos Kossuth in the texts by the journalists Karel Havlíček (periodical production) and Ludwig Rittersberg (Kapesní slovníček novinářský a konversační /A Pocket Dictionary of Journalism and Conversation/). With respect to the genre diversity of their publications (the periodically issued press in the case of Havlíček and collected works, albeit of journalistic character, in the case of Rittersberg), however, it would be almost purposeless to compare these two testimonies of the period in question in detail. Each of them fulfilled their role in the public space: one was engaged in news reporting, whereas the other, after some time, remembered the values, people or events gradually forgotten in the changing political situation after the defeat of the revolution. Although Havlíček and Rittersberg were not in entire ideological agreement and alienated during the revolutionary period, they both criticised Kossuth’s national policy towards Slavs. Havlíček’s Národní noviny [National Newspaper] and his Slovan [The Slav] as well as his publication Duch Národních novin [The Spirit of the National Newspaper] and Epištoly kutnohorské [The Kutná Hora Epistles] were officially forbidden in 1850–1851; likewise the publication of Rittersberg’s work in the Austrian monarchy was forcibly interrupted at the entry ‘Medakovič’ in 1852. In this connection, the author also mentions the prepared glossary of another part of Rittersberg’s work, which remains unprocessed in the Literary Archives of the Museum of Czech Literature, paying attention to Rittersberg’s focus on major Hungarian figures, life and institutions. In the next part of the work, the author, based on her analysis of the list of prohibited publications (Chronologicko-abecední seznam tisků zakazáných v monarchii podle nařízení ministerstva vnitra z roku 1851 a tiskového nařízení policejních úřadů z roku 1852 /A Chronological-Alphabetical List of Publications Prohibited in the Monarchy According to a Decree of the Ministry of the Interior of 1851 and a Press Regulation of Police Authorities of 1852/) has provided specific examples of the restrictions to which the books published on the topic of Hungarian revolution had been subjected. Nevertheless, the governmental authorities were not satisfied with the policy of prohibiting individual publications, so that, in the end, a ban was imposed on 3 March 1853 on any information on Kossuth as well as on the Italian revolutionary Mazzini and on their ‘treacherous proclamations’.

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