AKA Henryk Adam Alexander Pius Sienkiewicz
Birthplace: Wola Okrzejska, Poland
Location of death: Vevey, Switzerland
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, St. John's Basilica, Warsaw, Poland
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Quo Vadis?
Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote short stories, edited a daily newspaper, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905, for writing several sweeping epic novels. His most famous works include Quo Vadis?, a story of Christian persecution in ancient Rome that was a best-seller in America and has been filmed four times. He also wrote the famous short story "The Lighthouse Keeper", and a trilogy of historical novels (Ogniem i mieczem, Potop, and Pan Wolodyjowski) depicting the Poles' battles against Cossacks, Tatars, Turks, and Swedes. The 1951 film of Quo Vadis? was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starred (ambiguous link, Robert Taylor) and Deborah Kerr. A 1965 adaptation of Ogniem i Mieczem starred Jeanne Crain and was released in America as Invasion 1700.
Sienkiewicz was popular with Polish readers, both for his writing and for his rebellious stance in opposition to the Russian government which had annexed Poland. In 1900 a campaign for voluntary contributions collected the funds necessary to present him with a small castle as a "thank you" for stirring the patriotism of an oppressed people. He lived in the castle until the outbreak of World War I, when he fled to Switzerland and spent his last years working with his friend, the pianist Ignace Paderewski, to provide relief for Polish refugees.
Sienkiewicz's novels remain popular to this day, and the author himself is remembered as a national hero. At the conclusion of World War I -- two years after his death -- his beloved Poland was restored to sovereign status. His castle is now The Henryk Sienkiewicz Museum.
Wife: Maria Szetkiewiczówna (b. 1854, m. 1881, d. 1885 tuberculosis)
Son: Henryk Jozef Sienkiewicz (b. 1882, d. 1959)
Daughter: Jadwiga Sienkiewicz-Korniłowiczowa (b. 1883, d. 1969)
University: Warsaw University (dropped out)
Nobel Prize for Literature 1905
Author of books:
Na Marne (In Vain) (1872)
Charcoal Sketches, and Other Tales (1876, collected short stories)
Ogniem i Mieczem (With Fire and Sword) (1884)
Potop (The Deluge) (1886)
Pan Wolodyjowski (Fire in the Steppe) (1888)
Bez dogmatu (Without Dogma) (1890)
Rodzina Polanieckich (Children of the Soil) (1894)
Quo Vadis?:A Tale of the Time of Nero (1896)
After Bread: A Story of Polish Emigrant Life to America (1897)
Na polu chwaly (On the Field of Glory) (1906)
Wiry (Whirlpools) (1910)
W Pustyni I W Puszczy (In Desert and Wilderness) (1912)
Tales from Henryk Sienkiewicz (1931, collected short stories, published posthumously)
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