I\ Tyt. Oryg

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Hippocrene Books, 1993 - Historical fiction - 786 pages
The Teutonic Knights is an epic of medieval times and national destiny, ranking as one of the highest achievements from the pen of Henryk Sienkiewicz, the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1905.
The novel follows the adventures of Macko, a resourceful and wise veteran of war, and his young nephew, Zbyszko, the symbol of a maturing nation, as they struggle, along with the unified peoples of Poland and Lithuania, against the oppressive religious military order, the Teutonic Knights. Among the many memorable characters are Jurand, a merciless, bitter fighter consumed with revenge; his daughter, the innocent Danusia, a girl of twelve who must face the barbarity of the German knighthood; the strong-willed Jagienka, equally adept at shooting a crossbow or administering an estate; Hlawa, a Czech squire of noble birth who is as quick with his wit as he is with his axe; Sanderus, a peddler of religious relics and indulgences whose earthly cravings seem greater than any spiritual needs.
A host of other memorable characters fills the canvas set against lush, almost magical forests, dangerous marshes replete with tales of human heads walking on spider legs, winter blizzards that blanket the world in a white wonderland - all at once beautiful and foreboding. Splendid castles are described here, court hunts, single combats that test valor and strength. The customs of knights with their code of honor and feelings of love are adroitly explored. The entirety culminates in one of the most important battles in medieval history, the Battle of Grunwald.
The Teutonic Knights was published in America in 1900 in various competing translations of erratic quality. Not until 1943 did a translation worthy of this masterpiece appear, but unfortunately its release was limited to Great Britain. It is this translation that has been revised and edited by Miroslaw Lipinski with an eye for both fluidity in the English language and fidelity to the original Polish.

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The Teutonic Knights

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The dawn of the 15th century presaged one of the epic battles in central Europe. The Order of Teutonic Knights ruled Prussia with an iron fist and plundered its neighbors. The Polish-Lithuanian ... Read full review

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I read it years ago, and liked it then. I don't know if I still would.. Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Far more celebrated than any of his positivist contemporaries, Sienkiewicz began as a journalist and achieved considerable renown with his account of a two-year journey to the United States. Between 1882 and 1888 he wrote three historical novels dealing with political and military events in seventeenth-century Poland: With Fire and Sword, The Deluge (1886), and Fire in the Steppe (1888, also translated as Pan Michael). Although superficial in its analysis of historical events, the trilogy gained enormous popularity both in Poland and in other Slavic countries thanks to Sienkiewicz's masterful use of epic techniques and of the seventeenth-century colloquial idiom. Even more popular, if artistically far weaker, was his Quo Vadis? (1896), a novel about Rome in the age of Nero (Sienkiewicz's fame in the West is chiefly based on this work). Another historical novel, The Teutonic Knights (1900), deals with the fifteenth-century struggle between Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Order.

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