Miklos, baron Josika - Encyclopedia




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MIKLOS [[[nicholas|NICHOLAS]]] JOSIKA, Baron (1794-1865), Hungarian novelist, was born on the 28th of April 1794 at Torda in Transylvania, of aristocratic and wealthy parents. After finishing the usual course of legal studies at Kolozsvár (Klausenburg), he in 1811 entered the army, joining a cavalry regiment, with which he subsequently took part in the Italian campaign. On the battlefield of Mincio (February 8, 1814) he was promoted to the grade of lieutenant. He served in the campaign against Napoleon, and was present at the entry of the Allied Troops into Paris (March 31, 1814). In 1818 J6sika resigned his commission, returned to Hungary, and married his first wife a Or "Magdolos" (Herod. ii. 159), i.e. some "Migdal" (tower) of Judaea, not the Migdol of Exod. xiv. 2; Jer. xliv. 1.

See Zeit. f. Alttest. Wissenschaft (1902), pp. 170 seq., 312 seq.; Journ Bib. Lit. (1903), p. 50.

Elizabeth Kallai. The union proving an unhappy one, J6sika parted from his wife, settled on his estate at Szurdok in Transylvania, and devoted himself to agricultural and literary pursuits. Drawn into the sphere of politics, he took part in the memorable Transylvanian diet of 1834. About this time Josika first began to attract attention as a writer of fiction. In 1836 his Abafi laid the foundation of his literary reputation. This novel gives a vivid picture of Transylvania in the time of Sigismund Batori. Josika was soon afterwards elected member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and of the Kisfaludy Society; of the latter he became, in 1841, director, and in 1842 vice-president. In 1847 he appeared at the Transylvanian diet as second deputy for the county of Szolnok, and zealously supported the movement for the union of Transylvania with Hungary proper. In the same year he was converted to Protestantism, was formally divorced from his wife, and married Baroness Julia Podmaniczky, herself a writer of considerable merit, with whom he lived happily until his death. So great was Josika's literary activity that by the time of the revolution (1848) he had already produced about sixty volumes of romances and novels, besides numerous contributions to periodicals. Both as magnate of the upper house of the Hungarian diet and by his writings Josika aided the revolutionary movement, with which he was soon personally identified, being chosen one of the members of the committee of national defence. Consequently, after the capitulation at Vilagos (Aug. 13, 1849) he found it necessary to flee the country, and settled first at Dresden and then, in 1850, at Brussels, where he resumed his literary pursuits anonymously. In 1864 he removed to Dresden, in which city he died on the 27th of February 1865. The romances of Josika, written somewhat after the style of Sir Walter Scott, are chiefly of an historical and social-political character, his materials being drawn almost entirely from the annals of his own country. Among his more important works may be specially mentioned, besides Abafi - The Poet Zrinyi (1843); The Last of the Batoris (1837); The Bohemians in Hungary (1839); Esther (1853); Francis Rcikoczy II. (1861); and A Vegvciriak, a tale of the time of the Transylvanian prince Bethlen Gabor, 1864. Many of J6sika's novels have been translated into German.

See K. Moenich and S. Vutkovich, Magyar Irok Nevtdra (1876); M. Jokai, "Josika Miklos Emlekezete," A Kisfaludy-Tdrsascig Evlapjai, Uj folyam, vol. iii. (1869); G. W. Steinacker, Ungarische Lyriker (1874). Cf. also Josika's autobiography - Emlekirat, vol. iv. (1865).

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