Mazeppa cover

photo credits: Lord Byron - CC-PD-Mark

Mazeppa

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Mazeppa is a narrative poem written by the English romantic poet Lord Byron in 1819. It is based on a popular legend about the early life of Ivan Mazepa (1639–1709), who later became Hetman (military leader) of Ukraine. Byron's poem was immediately translated into French, where it inspired a series of works in various art forms. The cultural legacy of Mazeppa was revitalised with the independence of Ukraine in 1991. According to the poem, the young Mazeppa has a love affair with a Polish Countess Theresa while serving as a page at the Court of King John II Casimir Vasa. Countess Theresa was married to a much older Count. On discovering the affair, the Count punishes Mazeppa by tying him naked to a wild horse and setting the horse loose. The bulk of the poem describes the traumatic journey of the hero strapped to the horse. The poem has been praised for its "vigor of style and its sharp realization of the feelings of suffering and endurance".Published within the same covers as "Mazeppa" was a short "Fragment of a Novel", one of the earliest vampire stories in English, and the poem "Ode".
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original title: Mazeppa
date of publication: 1819
genre: narrative poetry
movement: Romanticism

Ebooks: on Wikisource

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