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by Andrew Tarnowski
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  • Author:
    Andrew Tarnowski
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  • Publisher:
    Aurum Press Ltd (March 25, 2007)
  • Pages:
    368 pages
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    1182 kb
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    1725 kb
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    1670 kb
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The Last Mazurka book. The story of how the two great wars of the 20th century swept away an entire culture and lifestyle.

The Last Mazurka book.

by. Andrew Tarnowski.

The Last Mazurka - Andrew Tarnowski. Unusually for an aristocrat, Hieronim’s father Professor Stanislaw Tarnowski was a renowned academic and one of the most prominent political and intellectual figures in pre-1914 Galicia

The Last Mazurka - Andrew Tarnowski. Unusually for an aristocrat, Hieronim’s father Professor Stanislaw Tarnowski was a renowned academic and one of the most prominent political and intellectual figures in pre-1914 Galicia. The professor was a cult figure among the Krakow conservative intelligentsia. At the turn of the century many fellow intellectuals and academics attended a lunch each Thursday in his honour at the Resursa Krakowska or Krakow Club.

Author Andrew Tarnowski, Hieronim's grandson, describes a potential estate-recovery effort (quote) I never received the .

Author Andrew Tarnowski, Hieronim's grandson, describes a potential estate-recovery effort (quote) I never received the land, of course, and I have not tried to claim it since Poland threw off Communism in 1989. By the time I received the deed nearly fifty years later I was told that no one survived at Rudnik who could identify the plots by their. Published on September 28, 2008.

The Last Mazurka: A Tale of War, Passion and Loss, by Andrew Tarnowski. The Tarnowskis are one of Poland's most ancient aristocratic clans, and the author, Andrew Tarnowski, would have inherited a palace here had history dealt a different set of cards.

A Family's Tale of War, Passion, and Loss. The shot Count Hieronim Tarnowski fired on his wedding night in 1914, on the eve of the First World War, was like a tocsin that sounded the doom of his ancient Polish family. When, in August 1939, on the eve of another war, his daughter Sophie saw blood pouring down the side of her train, she felt a terrible foreboding and knew her idyllic world would be swept away.

Read "The Last Mazurka A Family's Tale of War, Passion, and Loss" by Andrew Tarnowski . Books related to The Last Mazurka.

Books related to The Last Mazurka.

A Family’s Tale of War, Passion, and Loss.

With The Last Mazurka, Andrew Tarnowski paints a hauntingly bittersweet portrait of his family set against the pain and tumult of World War II. Like the musical strains of a Polish mazurka, this memoir is lively, courageous, and absolutely mesmerizing! Echoes of Halcyon Days. Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 11 years ago. In this outstanding book, Andrew Tarnowski describes the fairy tale like lives of his Polish aristocratic relatives from the early 1900s up until world war II, after which their highly privileged lives came to a crashing halt. He continues to describe what happened in the.

Pages are clean and unmarked and in excellent condition. When in August 1939 his daughter Sophie saw blood pouring down the side of her train, she foresaw a terrible future and knew her idyllic world would be swept away.

Critically acclaimed in hardback, this beautifully written saga both charts Poland's brutal 20th Century history and reveals the secret world of an intriguing clan. Love and passion, warring families, violence, hidden secrets and betrayal are set against the dramatic backdrop of the two world wars.

Honest, tender and painful, the Last Mazurka brings to life Tolstoy's dictum that "each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

In a recent survey, British readers overwhelmingly nominated Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice to be their all time favorite book. A similar result occurred in Australia and New Zealand. English readers seem to have a fascination about the Aristocracy and about the lives of the old Tory land owning class of which Mr. Darcy, the main love interest in Pride and Prejudice, was clearly a member.

In his book, After the Victorians, A.N. Wilson suggests that it was this Tory land owning class who suffered the greatest loss with the coming of the industrial revolution in Britain. By the beginning of the 20th Century Mr. Wilson claims that this class had all but disappeared from rural Britain.

So it is fascinating to read The Last Mazurka, by Andrew Tarnowski. The book is predominately set in Poland and tells the story of theTarnowski family, starting just before the First World War and ending slightly after the collapse of the Communist regime.

The Tarnowskis were members of the Polish szlatchy (the landed gentry) and Andrew's family was a cadet branch (minor line) of that family.

The principal estate belonging to the family was Rudnik, which was located in that part of Poland, which before independence, had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In many ways the Tarnowski family were the equivalent of the Tory landed gentry but with a Polish twist

Andrew's grandfather Count Hieronim is a large figure, who upon returning to Rudnik after the First World War, discovers that several battles between the Austrians and the Russians had been fought around and within the estate. The manor House is full of holes left by bullets and artillery shells. The estate park and the fields are putrid cess pools. Count Hieronim rebuilds the manner house, rehabilitates the farm and in the process recovers over 3,000 bodies which he has interred in a mass grave.

There are 2 children born to Hieronim: Stas and Sophie. Andrew Tarnowski traces their childhood, adolescence and early adult hood. Hieronim died before the German invasion of 1939. Upon the invasion, Stas and Sophie flee the estate, crossing into Romania and then ultimately traveling to Egypt.

Stas marries his girlfriend Chouquette but unlike in Jane Austen's novels, the young couple do not live happily ever after.

Andrew Tarnowski traces his parents lives during the Second World War, their post-war divorce and the difficulties Stas and Choquette experience, living in exile.

The story has a particularly poignant scene near its end, when Stas who is an old man, is asked if he has any regrets. He answers: "we were lords almighty; not officially so, but in fact we were. It's a way of life that couldn't be resumed." This pessimistic (but possibly realistic) view appears to be borne out by the conflicts between members of the Tarnskowi family about how the family fortunes and the estate of Rudnik can be restored. Andrew Tarnowski comes to the conclusion that his Polish relatives are not being sensible in their objectives and in the end, he withdraws from involvement in their attempts at restoration.

I found The Last Maszurka to be a satisfying book, perhaps because it is a story that plays out on many different levels. It is partly a historical novel exploring a way of life that has long past. It is also tells of a journey of personal exploration in which the author comes to terms with a difficult father. It is also the story of an exile returning to his homeland and coming to terms with his Polish roots.

Andrew Tarnoswski is to be admired for writing about his own family with such sensitivity that I for one, came to care about them. It was difficult not to sympathize with their virtues and failings.

If there is one aspect about the book I take issue with, it is that the author may have too jaundiced a view about the szlatchy. Both Stas and Andrew Tarnowski may have spent too long living in Britain for them to be objective about the contribution played by the Polish Tories.

Perhaps the greatest crime committed by the Communists is that they denied the Poles their own history. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Communist regime, the Poles began to write their own histories, but Polish historiography is still in its infancy.

I have not read any comprehensive treatment dealing with the contribution of the szlatchy to the establishment of the Polish Republic in 1920. But the contribution which the Tarnowski family made to the new Republic was not unusual.

Count Heironim returns to his estate after the First World War and rehabilitates it. This was of itelf, a patriotic act, a statement of optimism about the future of the fledgling republic. The estate was primarily an agricultural venture and the most pressing need facing the new nation in the 1920s was food security. We know from the records and reports of the US Food Administration, under the management of Herbert Hoover, that the Poles were starving after the war. Like Heironim many other Polish nobles, expended their time and treasure, to feed the new nation.

The Russo-Polish War of 1919 -1921 saw many of the szlatcha fill the ranks of the officer class of the Polish Military Forces. It is also a sad fact that so many members of the Szlatcha were the first to fall, resisting the first wave of the Wehrmacht, as they crossed the Polish frontier in 1939.

To these contributions should be added the fact that in many districts throughout Poland, it was the Szlatcha who established the schools and made sure that the local children were getting a proper education. Whatever members of the Szlatcha may have privately thought about the socialist policies of Marshall Pilsudski, as a class the Szlatcha remained committed to the peace and prosperity of the nation and they generally supported the government. They remained surprisingly positive about policies that were against their interests, like land reform.

Unlike the British Tories, I am not so certain that if Poland had been left alone and there had never been the German and Russian invasions, the Szlatcha might not be playing a significant and positive role in the Polish nation today.
This is one of the best book I have ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction. The author writes about his family; warts and all. The story involves, war, adultary, suicide, and through it all the triumph of the human spirit. FYI: The last mazurka means "The last dance"