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Karel Jaromír Erben

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Karel Jaromír Erben

Karel Jaromír Erben
Portrait of Karel Jaromír Erben by Jan Vilímek
Born (1811-11-07)7 November 1811
Miletín, Austria
Died 21 November 1870(1870-11-21) (aged 59)
Prague, Austria-Hungary
Resting place Olšany Cemetery
Occupation Writer, poet
Nationality Czech
Literary movement Romanticism
Notable works Kytice
Spouse Barbora Mečířová

Karel Jaromír Erben (Czech pronunciation: ; 7 November 1811 – 21 November 1870) was a Czech historian, poet and writer of the mid-19th century, best known for his collection Kytice (Czech: Bouquet), which contains poems based on traditional and folkloric themes.

He also wrote Písně národní v Čechách (Folk Songs of Bohemia) which contains 500 songs and Prostonárodní české písně a říkadla (Czech Folk Songs and Nursery Rhymes), a five-parted book that brings together most of the Czech folklore.

Báje a pověsti slovanské (Slavic Tales and Legends), 1902 publication. Cover drawing by Věnceslav Černý.


He was born on November 7, 1811 in Miletín near Jičín. He went to college in Hradec Králové. Then, in 1831, he went to Prague where he studied philosophy and later law. He started working in the National Museum (Národní muzeum) with František Palacký in 1843. He became editor of a Prague's newspaper in 1848. Two years later, in 1850, he became archives' secretary of the National Museum. He died on November 21, 1870 of tuberculosis.

Selected works

  • Písně národní v Čechách (Folk Songs of Bohemia) (1842–1845); contains 500 songs
  • Kytice z pověstí národních (A Bouquet of Folk Legends) (1853, expanded edition 1861) (English edition, 2012)
  • Sto prostonárodních pohádek a pověstí slovanských v nářečích původních (One Hundred Slavic Folk Tales and Legends in Original Dialects) (1865)
  • Vybrané báje a pověsti národní jiných větví slovanských (Selection of Folk Tales and Legends from Other Slavic Branches) (1869)
  • Prostonárodní české písně a říkadla (Czech Folk Songs and Nursery Rhymes) (1864); 5-part collection of Czech folklore
  • České pohádky (Czech Fairy Tales)


  • Profile by School of Modern Languages and Cultures at University of Glasgow

External links

  • Works by or about Karel Jaromír Erben at Internet Archive
  • Works by Karel Jaromír Erben at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)

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