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[?] Szczepanowska

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Published : 2 Articles
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Date of Birth : N/A
Death : N/A
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Szczepanowska, Mme. I Mad. Sczszpanowska, Madm. Schszepanowska l. Not identified. The Office Book recordings of the contributor's name are obviously mistranscriptions of "Szczepanowska." According to the annual reports of the London Literary Association of the Friends of Poland, the number of Polish refugees in England during various years of the 1840S and 1850S ranged from 460 to about 1000. Mme. Szczepanowska was obviously one of these refugees. In her first H.W. contribution ["The Serf of Pobereze", I, 342–50. July 6, 1850] she mentioned having travelled in Poland "last year"; she was apparently in England at the time of contributing the item, as indicated by the Office Book notation that cash was "handed over" by Wills;" she was probably in England also at the time of contributing her second item, which was paid for by post-office order. Her name does not appear in reference works on Polish writers.

      One refugee of the writer's name was Lieut. Ignatius Szczepanowski, a well-educated man who in 1839 served as resident secretary to the London Literary Association of the Friends of Poland and in the 1840S worked as a teacher in Ipswich (Report of the Proceedings, 1839, 1843). Dickens was for a time a member of the Literary Association.
      The first item, assigned in the Office Book jointly to the contributor and Wills, is marked in addition "Re-written by W.H.W." It is the story of a Polish peasant girl who became a prima donna. It was reprinted in the International Magazine and included in Choice Stories from Dickens' Household Words, pub. Auburn, N.Y., 1854. The second item ["Barbara's Nuptials", IX, 488–92. July 8, 1854] is an account of the betrothal and wedding, in 1759, of the daughter of an ancient Polish family, Barbara Krasinska, recorded from the diary of Barbara's sister. In his Life of Adventure (I, 6), Otto von Corvin, a descendant of the Corvin-Krasinskis, mentioned the publication in H.W. of the "very interesting extract" from the sister's diary.

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971

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