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Lucjan Rydel

Lucjan Rydel

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Lucjan Rydel

(1870–1918) was a poet, playwright, journalist, critic, and social activist born in Krakow to Lucjan (an outstanding Polish oculist) and Helena (née Kremer). At his father’s bidding he studied at the Faculty of Law at the Jagiellonian University. Upon graduating in 1894, he traveled Europe, living for a spell in Warsaw. He returned to Krakow to stay in 1898. He befriended many figures in the art scene at the time, including Stanisław Wyspiański, Kazimierz Przerwą-Tetmajer, and his half-brother, Włodzimierz Tetmajer. In 1900, Lucjan Rydel defied his family by marrying Jadwiga Mikołajczykówna, sister of Włodzimierz Tetmajer’s wife. The marriage caused a sensation and served as the backdrop for Stanisław Wyspiański’s Wedding. In his final years he served as director of the Słowacki Theater in Krakow.

He made his name as the author of The Enchanted Wheel, upon which Konstanty Górski wrote a symphonic poem, and Jerzy Gablenz an opera; he also wrote the nativity play Polish Bethlehem, numerous tales and poems, as well as fairy tales and prose for young people.

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