Mór Jókai, 1825-1904


Biographical note

Hungarian dramatist and novelist, also known as Maurus Jokai.

Jókai was an arch-romantic, with an almost Oriental imagination, and humour of the purest, rarest description. If one can imagine a combination, in almost equal parts, of Walter Scott, William Beckford, Dumas père, and Charles Dickens, together with a strong hint of Hungarian patriotism, one may perhaps form a fair idea of the character of the work of this great Hungarian romancer.

Jókai was extremely prolific. It was to literature that he continued to devote most of his time, and his productiveness after 1870 was stupendous, amounting to some hundreds of volumes. None of this work is slipshod, and the best of it deserves to endure. Amongst the finest of his later works may be mentioned the unique and incomparable A Man of Gold (translated into English, among others, under the title The Man with the Golden Touch), the most popular The Heartless Man's Sons, the heroic chronicle of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and Eyes like the Sea, which won the Academy's prize in 1890.

His The novel of the next century [1872], is accounted an important early work of Science Fiction. In spite of its romantic trappings, this monumental two-volume novel includes some acute observations and almost prophetic visions, such as the prediction of a revolution in Russia and the establishment of a totalitarian state there, or the arrival of aviation.



Short fiction

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