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LECTURE 13.02.24: The Awakening of the Czech National Consciousness

A talk by Caroline Cannon-Brookes on Tuesday 13th February 2024 in the Embassy of the Czech Republic, 26-30 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY.

Palacky cElis J CCThe 1905 Baedeker’s guide to Austria-Hungary states in its historical introduction “The endeavours of the Habsburgs assisted by the Jesuits, who were practically all powerful in Bohemia and Moravia, to Germanize the habits and language of their Czech subjects culminated in the establishment of German public elementary schools under Josef II. In opposition to this policy a new Czechish movement has gradually developed since the end of the 18th century…”

CFoCH1SMALLThis illustrated talk traced the great cultural and intellectual revival that began in the early years of the 19th century with a key moment being the foundation in 1818 of ‘The Society of the Patriotic Museum in Bohemia’. In the second half of the century the nationalist movement gathered momentum and found its expression in works of art and architecture, literature and music, culminating in the foundation of the new Czecho-Slovak Republic.

Caroline Cannon-Brookes is an art historian, trained at the Courtauld Institute and a former lecturer in the University of Oxford, Department for Continuing Education. She has led many tours to the Czech Republic to which she is a regular visitor.

Image, upper, The František Palacký Monument (1912) by Stanislav Sucharda, in Prague's New Town/ © Elis J from Creative Commons Wikimedia. Two groups of sculptures wage a battle between the forces of good and evil. Image, right, Caroline Cannon-Brookes with our Chairman Peter Jamieson/ © FoCH.

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