New and exciting light on Paderewski’s life is shed by the recent discovery of a typescript of Helena Paderewska’s Memoirs at the Hoover Institution. Covering the years 1910-1920, Madame Paderewska adds substantially to our knowledge of her husband’s activities during that very important decade of his life. The year 1910 marked bicentennial of Chopin’s birth and 500th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald/Tannenberg. It also marked Paderewski’s entry into politics on a global scale, which continued with his successful touring and speeches on Poland’s behalf in the United States during the World War I years. Always at her husband’s side, Madame Paderewska gives fascinating insights to events that shaped the modern history of Poland. It’s very fortuitous indeed to have her narrative augmented by scholarly and informative commentary provided by Maciej Siekierski from the Hoover Institution, who discovered and extensively annotated the text.
The Polish version of Madame Paderewska’s original English typescript is already available for sale in Poland, translated by Ludmiła Bachurska and published by Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy. The English version is expected to be published by Hoover Institution/Stanford University later this year. Helena Paderewska’s Memoirs, 1910-1920 are a must read for anyone interested in Polish history and the events leading to the restoration of Poland after a century of Partitions and the early days of Poland’s Second Republic.