22 listopada 2011

Czech Republic 500 korun (P#20), 1997

Božena Němcová (4 February 1820, Vienna – 21 January 1862, Prague) was a Czech writer of the final phase of the Czech National Revival movement.

She was born as Barbora Pankel in Vienna, the daughter of Johann Pankel from Lower Austria and Teresie Novotná, a maid of Bohemian origin. In her childhood she lived in the village of Ratibořice, where her grandmother Magdalena Novotná played an important part in her life. Němcová would later write her most famous novel with the main character inspired by her grandmother.

When she was 17 years old, she married the 15-years-older Josef Němec, who worked as a customs officer and was therefore a state employee. The marriage was arranged by Barbora's parents and became an unhappy one, as the married couple didn't understand each other very well. Němec was said to be a rude and authoritative man. He was a Bohemian patriot, which his superiors didn't like, and he was often transferred to different locations, and later lost his job. The family had four children and suffered from a lack of money. Němcová died in poverty, estranged from her husband. The Bohemian patriots arranged a magnificent funeral for her.

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