AbstraktThe paper discusses two prominent figures in Polish literature, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski (1812–1887) and Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846–1916), and the role women played in their lives, influencing their works. In the beginning, the author devotes some attention to the role of ‘muses’ and their inspiration to artists from Antiquity to Romanticism. In the analytical part of her paper, she presents the differences between these two masters of the quill. Kraszewski let excessive emotions take the reins in his private life, as a consequence of which he frequently misplaced his affections, suffering considerable disappointments. Sienkiewicz, although highly susceptible to female charms, was more mature, as is well reflected in his works. His life experience influenced the artistic maturity of his female protagonists. Thus, towards the end of his life, he was able to conclude that love was the highest value. The ‘muses’ of this first Polish Nobel laureate in literature exerted a profound influence on the literary profile of the heroines of his greatest novels.
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