In our June 2015 issue of this Newsletter, we reported on the publication in Polish translation of Madame Paderewska’s Memoirs, recently discovered and edited by Maciej Siekierski, Curator of European Collections at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives in Stanford, California.
Now, as promised, there is an English version, Helena Paderewska: Memoirs, 1910-1920, published by Hoover Institution Press. This handsome hardcover comes with an introduction by Maciej Siekierski, who extensively edited and annotated the volume, placing the events described in context of the world of politics and high-society personalities that formed the circle of Paderewski’s friends and admirers. It also features a rare photo of Paderewski and his wife from the Paderewski Collection held at the USC Polish Music Center.
Norman Davies provided an excellent introduction with a much-needed mise-en-scène of Polish history that will prove indispensable to English readers who are less fluent on European affairs during the last few centuries. The Paderewski’s timeline covering the decade of Helena’s Memoirs followed by a long list of mini-biographies—from Adamowski and Asquith to Venizelos and Zamoyski—complete this very successful presentation.
Paderewska’s Memoirs are a must for anyone interested in history of Poland and Paderewski’s great political achievements. With rare historical photos, reproductions of color pamphlets and other period memorabilia, historians and general public will be engrossed by this “behind-the-scenes” look at the momentous events that shaped modern Europe.