Žalud-Vysokomýtský: a Czech Rebel Historian of 1848–9

  • Robert B. Pynsent
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


Antonín František Žalud Vysokomýtský (1815–73) was the author of the most popular and most frequently banned history of the Bohemian Lands to come out of the last stages of the National Revival, Početí roku 1620 a sledí jeho, čili řádění Jezuitů v Čechách a na Moravě (The Conception of 1620 and its Results, or the Rampaging of the Jesuits in Bohemia and Moravia; Litoměřfice, 1849). The work is of considerable interest to students of literature and historians for two reasons. First it documents the thinking of Czech radicals in 1848–9, semi-educated radicals to the left of Havlíček, and apparently of Fric as well. Secondly its interpretation of Czech history from the beginnings to the time of writing foreshadows interpretations from the second half of the twentieth century. Žalud’s starting point is a more strident, and a crasser, version of Palacký’s conception of the Czechs in constant conflict with the Germans. His argument, however, is based on (i) the idea of a permanent class conflict and (ii) the view that clerics, and particularly the Roman Catholic Church, are fundamentally opposed to ‘progress’, education and freedom.


German Language Common People Slavonic Language Christian Religion Repugnant Selfishness 
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  1. 1.
    My knowledge of Vysokomýtský’s life is derived entirely from the only two scholarly works devoted to him, both largely biographical; one is an article, V. Driml (Václav Trümmel), To stopách zapadlého literáta českého’, Časopis Národního Musea, vol. XCVII (1923) pp. 125–33 and 263–71, and the other a brochure (a reprint of articles), Jaromír Malý, Antonín Žalud Vysokomýtský, český spisovatel a redaktor (Písek, 1924).Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Antonín Vysokomýtský, Početí roku 1620 a sledí jeho, čili řádění Jesuitů v Čechách a na Moravě, ‘Psáno v prědhoří šumavském’ (Leitmeritz, 1849) p. 11n.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    J. Purs and M. Kropilák, Přehled dějin Československa, vol. I, part 1 (Prague, 1980) pp. 104–5. Conflict about the true nature of Wenceslas was rife during the latter half of the nineteenth century and, indeed, in the twentieth century; see, for example,Google Scholar
  4. J. Kalousek, Obrana knížete Václava Svatého proti smyšlenkám a křivým úsudkům o jeho povaze (Prague, 1901).Google Scholar

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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1988

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  • Robert B. Pynsent

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