The Cambridge History of Poland: From the Origins to Sobieski (To 1696)

The Cambridge History of Poland: From the Origins to Sobieski (To 1696)

The Cambridge History of Poland: From the Origins to Sobieski (To 1696)

The Cambridge History of Poland: From the Origins to Sobieski (To 1696)

Excerpt

The work planned in the autumn of 1936 has required eleven years for its completion, perhaps four times as long as would have sufficed in time of peace.

The outbreak of hostilities carried Professor Dyboski into a new captivity destined to surpass in length the "Seven Years in Russia and Siberia" which he had already chronicled. Alas! he did not survive it. His colleagues gratefully remember his charm and the value of his co-operation.

Professor Halecki, as a fugitive first to Paris and later to New York, has continued his invaluable work for Polish scholarship and AngloPolish collaboration. . Mr Penson has served the state first in Newfoundland and later in Washington. In such circumstances, with airmail from New York usually delivered only after some four weeks, the gaps caused by the war have been but slowly filled. The geographical designs, indeed, have been in part frustrated. After the tragic disappearance of the scholar whose maps had been approved, a successor who had escaped from Poland set to work in Wilno (Vilna), only himself to be swept away. The maps actually used are taken from Polska, jej dzieje I kultura (Warsaw, 1927), and grateful acknowledgement is made to the publishers. The bibliography, on the other hand, has gained from the establishment in London of the Polish Research Centre under Professor ółtowski and by the labours of Professor Skwarczyński, of the Polish Board of Education.

The earlier annals of Poland have disclosed even greater difficulties than the later in the presentment of proper names. The western traveller from Berlin to Warsaw may remember how at the Polish frontier the "Bentschen" of a moment before became "Zbąszyń". No doubt the west-bound Slav feels no less resentful. The editors have clung to the principle of respecting, so far as possible, the preferences of the contributors. "Warsaw" is invariable throughout, but Toruń may be Torun or Thorn if the individual writer prefers, and the reconciliation is left to the index.

W. F. R.

CAMBRIDGE 194 . . .

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