Lydia Koidula

Lydia Emilie Florence Jannsen, (24 Dizember [A.S. 12 Dizember] 1843 – 11 August [A.S. 30 Julie] 1886), kent by her pen name Lydia Koidula, wis a Estonie poet. Her sobriquet means 'Lydia o the Dawn' in Estonie. It wis gien tae her bi the writer Carl Robert Jakobson. She is frequently referred tae as Koidulaulik – 'Sangster o the Dawn' an aw.

Lydia Koidula

In Estonie, like elsewhaur in Europe, writin wis no considered a suitable career for a respectable young lady in the mid-nineteent-century. Koidula's poetry an her newspaper wirk for her populist faither, Johann Voldemar Jannsen (1819–1890) remained anonymous. In spite o this, she wis a major leeterar figur, the foonder o Estonie theatre, an closely alleed tae Carl Robert Jakobson (1841–1882), the influential radical an Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (1803–1882), writer o the Estonie national epic, Kalevipoeg (The Son o Kalev).


Lydia Jannsen wis born in Fennern (present-day Vändra), Govrenorate o Livonie, Roushie Empire. The faimily muivit tae the nearbi coonty toun o Pernau (present-day Pärnu) in 1850 whaur, in 1857, her faither stairtit the first local Estonie leid newspaper an whaur Lydia attendit the German grammar schuil. The Jannsens muivit tae the varsity toun o Dorpat (present-day Tartu) in 1864. Naitionalism, includin publication in indigenous leids, wis a vera touchy subject in the Roushie Empire but the rule o the Emperor Alexander II (1855–1881) wis relatively leeberal an Jannsen managit tae persuade the imperial censorship tae allou him tae publish the first naitional Estonie leid newspaper in 1864. Baith the Pärnu local an the naitional newspaper wur cried Postimees (The Courier). Lydia wrote for her faither on baith papers besides publishin her awn wirk. In 1873 she marriet Eduard Michelson, a Livonie airmy physeecian, an muivit tae Kronstadt, the heidquairters o the Roushie Navy near Saunt Petersburg. In 1876–78 the Michelsons visitit Breslau, Strasbourg an Vienna. Koidula livit in Kronstadt for 13 years but despite spendin her simmers in Estonie, she niver stoppit feelin inconsolably homesick. Lydia Koidula wis the mither o three childer. She dee'd on August 11, 1886 efter a lang an painful illness. Her last poem wis Enne surma- Eestimaale! (Afore Daith, Tae Estonie!).


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  • Raun.T.U. Estonia and the Estonians. Hoover Institution Press, Standford. 2001. pp 77–79, 188
  • Kruus.O & Puhvel.H. Eesti kirjanike leksikon. Eesti raamat.Tallinn. 2000. pp 210– 211

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