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Another HungaryThe Nineteenth-Century Provinces in Eight Lives$
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Robert Nemes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795913

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795913.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

The Aristocrat

The Aristocrat

(p.13) 1 The Aristocrat
Another Hungary

Robert Nemes

Stanford University Press

The subject of the first chapter is Count József Gvadányi, an aristocrat of Italian origins who spent forty years as a cavalry officer before becoming a prolific author in his sixties. Largely forgotten today, Gvadányi was one of the most popular authors of the 1790s. He churned out biographies, military studies, and long, narrative poems. An analysis of the poetry reveals Gvadányi to be a careful observer of northeastern Hungary. The count was supportive of upward mobility through education and largely sympathetic to the diverse peoples who lived in the region (although Jews have no place in his literary landscapes). In this way, Gvadányi's writings begin to construct the "myth of the provinces": namely, the belief that Hungary had great untapped economic potential and that its different peoples lived in relative harmony. Later chapters take apart and add to this myth.

Keywords:   József Gvadányi, biography, aristocracy, Habsburg military, hunting, Hungarian food, Hungarian poetry, national myths

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