The Grandmother (Babička)
Author: Božena Němcová, Frances Gregor, Karel Hruška
Release Date: November 25, 2020
The Czech author Božena Němcová (1820-1862), born in Vienna, paints an entirely unsentimental portrait of the country habits and customs of Bohemia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and depicts the people she encountered during her childhood: teachers, maids, farm workers, millers, foresters, priests, to name but a few. The central character of this story, set in Eastern Bohemia, is a grandmother, full of simple wisdom, goodness and love, who personifies an ideal of maternal care. The Prošek family live in this country idyll but their father’s work means that he is compelled to spend a large part of the year in the imperial city of Vienna. Thus, their grandmother is brought home to look after the children and the property. This is the background against which the author unfolds the most important prose work in Czech literature and creates “one of the best female characters in world literature”.