Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Alois Jirásek (23 August 1851 – 12 March 1930) was a prominent Czech writer, renowned for his historical novels and plays.


Alois Jirásek’s origins lay in a family of modest means, where small-scale farming and weaving were the main occupations. His father, Josef Jirásek (1822–1901), initially worked as a weaver before transitioning to a baker’s profession. His mother, Vincencie Jirásková, née Prouzová (1821–1887), completed the family circle. Alois shared his childhood with eight siblings: Helena, Josef, Emília, Rudolf, Žofie, Božena, Adolf, and Antonín.

Alois pursued his education at the German Benedictine High School in Broumov from 1863 to 1867. Subsequently, he attended the Czech High School in Hradec Králové from 1867 to 1871. His academic journey then led him to Charles University, where he focused on history from 1871 to 1874. After completing his studies, he returned to Litomyšl, his hometown, where he became a history teacher. During this time, he penned some of his noteworthy works, including “The Philosophers’ Story” and “Psohlavci.”


On August 11, 1879, he entered into marriage with Marie Podhajská, with whom he had eight children—a family composed of seven daughters and one son.

Career and Contributions

Alois Jirásek held the role of a high school history teacher in Litomyšl before transitioning to Prague, where he continued to teach until his retirement in 1909. His literary contributions were deeply infused with his unwavering belief in his nation and its journey toward freedom and justice. He embarked on a series of historical novels that reflected these sentiments. Jirásek also established connections with several influential Czech personalities such as Mikoláš Aleš, Josef Václav Sládek, Karel Václav Rais, and Zdeněk Nejedlý. These connections were fostered through his involvement with an art club at the Union Cafe, which they all attended. Additionally, he served as an editor for Zvon magazine.

Recognition and Legacy Alois Jirásek’s profound impact on literature was acknowledged through his nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature on multiple occasions—namely, in 1918, 1919, 1921, and 1930. His dedication to the craft and his commitment to his nation’s heritage left an indelible mark on Czech literature and cultural identity.


On 23 August 2011, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Alois Jirásek’s 160th Birthday.

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