Aleksander Fredro

Portrait of Aleksander Fredro

Aleksander Fredro was a Romantic Polish poet, playwright and author active during the period of the partitions of Poland. He was born on 20th June 1793 in Surochow, Poland and died on 15th July 1876 in Lviv in the Ukraine aged 83.

Major Works

Mąż I żona (Husband and Wife) (1822)
Śluby Panieńskie” (Maidens’ Vows) (1833)
Zemsta” (Vengeance) (1834)

Biography Timeline

Aleksander Fredro was born on 20th June 1793 in Surochów, Galicia (modern day Poland) which was then part of the Austrian Empire. His father was a wealthy landowner and he was educated at home by private tutors.

1809: He enters the army of the Duchy of Warsaw, which was loyal to Napoleon Bonaparte, at the age of sixteen and sees action in many Napoleonic battles. 

1812: He fights in the Moscow campaign and is involved in the retreat. 

1814: Back in France he becomes very interested in French drama and spends a few months in Paris.

1815: He leaves the army at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and returns to his family’s estate. He begins to write theatrical comedies.

1821: He writes his first major work “Mąż i Zona” (Man and Wife) a farce about the unfaithful lifestyles of the Polish nobility which is first performed a year later.

1822: He receives the title of Count from the Emperor of Austria. 

1825: He writes “Damy i Huzary” (Ladies and Hussars) which is first performed the following year. 

1826: He publishes the comedy “Pan Geldhab” (Mr. Geldhab).

1832: He writes the play “Pan Jowialski” (Mr. Jovial).

1833: He writes “Śluby Panieńskie, Czyli Magnetyzm Serca, (Maidens’ Vows, or the Magnetism of the Heart) which concerns the psychology of women and also “Zemsta” (Vengeance) which is considered by some his masterpiece and is first performed in 1834.

1835: He writes and performs “Dożywocie” (The Annuity). Fredro is offended by an article written in a magazine by the Romantic poet Seweryn Goszczyński which states that his work is non-national and full of absurdities. He gives up writing altogether for the next nineteen years.

1880: He publishes his memoirs under the title “Trzy po trzy” (Topsy Turvy Talk). 

Count Aleksander Fredro died on 15th July 1876 in Lwów, Austrian Galicia (modern day Lviv, Ukraine). He was buried in the family grave in the Catholic Church of the Assumption at Rudky, Ukraine.

Further Information

List of works by Fredro.