Emilia Dobrzańska, née Karczewska (1852-1925)

Language: Polish

Jane Eyre translation: 1880

A Polish noblewoman, translator from French and English, and educational activist. Educated in a school for girls in Piotrków Trybunalski, then part of Congress Poland within the Russian Partition, Dobrzańska stayed on as a teacher of botany and French after her graduation. After the Russian authorities closed down the school, she opened her own one and continued to fight for independent education in Poland. Besides translating French writers such as Henry Gréville, Réné de Pont-Jest, and André Valdés, she also translated English works, most notably, Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis. Her translation of Jane Eyre, probably based on the French rendering by Noëmi Lesbazeilles Souvestre from 1854, was published in instalments (1880-1881) to the weekly Tydzień edited by her husband Mirosław Dobrzański.

Text by Kasia Szymanska

Sources: Irena Gruchała, ‘Herman Stachel – lwowski wydawca piśmiennictwa popularnego’, Folia Toruniensia 18 (2018), pp. 35-56; Dagmara Hadyna, ‘A Relayed Translation. Looking for the Source Text of the First Polish Translation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre’, Studia Litteraria Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis 11.2 (2016),  pp. 73–81; Monika Roszkowska, ‘The Evolution of Translation Standards as Illustrated by the History of Polish Translations of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë,’ Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies 2 (2013), pp. 43-57.