Another Czech genealogy and history exclusive right here for you!
The following is the first ever English translation of the article found in the 1892 edition of Amerikán Národní Kalendář. It is brought to you exclusively by Onward To Our Past® and our amazingly talented translation partner for this piece, Ms. Nina Haviernikova of The Ohio State University.
As you know, Czechs have always taken their writers seriously! If you are not aware of this, click here and read more about this.
Jan Neruda was no exception and actually was at or near the apex of this adoration and attention during his lifetime (1834-1891) and especially after.
Today we invite you to enjoy installment 1 of 2 of this biography of this historic and important Czech!
Renowned Czech Poet
“The news of the sudden death of the Czech literary community darling, our favorite poet, writer and feuilletonist, caught the whole Czech public in a painful surprise. Neruda passed away on 22 August of this year in his Vladislavská St. flat in Prague at ten o’clock in the evening.
Only the previous day he had gone for a walk. However, he complained of internal pain in the morning and he did not live to see the next day. He was laid to rest beside his friend, poet J.V.Frič at the memorable Vyšehrad on 25 August with a large crowd in attendance.
The famous poet, who, with the depth of his thoughts, stands alongside the greatest names of the world poetry, was born in Prague’s Malá Strana on 10 July 1834 to a family of little affluence.
Despite his parents’ hardship they encouraged their only son to study. Neruda initially studied in a German school, as that was the only kind of school available at that time. Later he transferred to a newly established “Staroměstské” Gymnasium. His mother wished that he would become a priest. Neruda, however, developed an aversion for this profession, mostly because of his dislike for the catechist Václav Štulc who was also a religious writer. Neruda’s distaste, in fact, become so strong, that he remained free-thinking for the rest of his life. He also detested priests in general and often sharply criticized them throughout his life.
Neruda studied law for two years, and subsequently worked as a clerk. He then went on to study philosophy and for a time worked as a substitute teacher at Realschule. After this period he wholly devoted his life to Czech literature. He was one of the principal founders of the almanac “Máj” (May), published in 1855, which introduced a new direction in Czech literature.
In 1860 he edited a feuilleton of the magazine “Čas” (The Time), but when this periodical moved away from its free-thinking nature, Neruda left for the magazine “Hlas” (The Voice), which later became “Národní Listy” (The National Papers).”
 The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Estonia. It has also existed in Croatia, Austria, Denmark and Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia and in the Russian Empire.
Tomorrow we will complete this 1892 story of Jan Neruda so stay with us right here at Onward To Our Past®