This article has multiple issues. Please help talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)( or discuss these issues on the Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Bo?ena N?mcová - engraving by Jan Vilímek
4 February 1820 ?
Vienna, Austrian Empire
|Died||21 January 1862 (aged 41)|
Prague, Austrian Empire
|Resting place||Vy?ehrad Cemetery|
|Literary movement||Czech National Revival|
According to the dating up to now accepted by the majority of Czech authors, Bo?ena N?mcová was born in 1820 as Barbara Pankel (or Barbora Panklová according to the usual Czech name-giving for women) in Vienna as a daughter of Johann Pankel from Lower Austria and Teresie Novotná, a maid of Bohemian origin. In her childhood she lived near the small town of Ratibo?ice, where her grandmother Magdalena Novotná played an important part in her life. N?mcová would later write her most famous novel with the main character inspired by her grandmother.
When she was 17 years old, she married Josef N?mec, fifteen years her senior, who worked as a customs officer and was therefore a state employee. The marriage was arranged by Barbora's parents and became an unhappy one, as the married couple did not understand each other very well. N?mec was said to be a rude and authoritarian man. He was a Bohemian patriot, which did not sit well with his superiors, and he was often transferred to different locations and later lost his job. The couple had four children and suffered from a lack of money. N?mcová died in poverty, estranged from her husband. She is said to have been in an intimate relationship with the poet Václav Bolemír Nebeský. The Bohemian patriots arranged a magnificent funeral for her.
Some authors question the birthdate (the preserved documents differ) and the real origin of Bo?ena N?mcová. According to one hypothesis, N?mcová could have been born three to four years earlier than previously thought, and been an illegitimate daughter of Wilhelmine, Duchess of Sagan (1781-1839). Helena Sobková, a writer of popular-history books about N?mcová, believes that N?mcová may actually have been the niece of Wilhelmine. In 1816 an illegitimate daughter was born to Wilhelmine's younger sister, Dorothée de Talleyrand-Périgord, and Count Karel Jan Clam-Martinic (1792-1840) in Bourbon-l'Archambault (a French spa). The child was not officially recognized by its mother; it was registered as Marie-Henriette Dessalles. The child's further fate is unknown, and it is possible that Duchess Wilhelmine of Sagan later gave the girl to N?mcová's parents to raise her as their own child under the name Barbora Panklová.
None of these speculations, however, have been definitely proven by serious historical research.