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100th Anniversary of the Death of Peter Rosegger - Set

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  • 08.06.2018
About 100th Anniversary of the Death of Peter Rosegger

The forest farmers’ boy

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the Styrian author Peter Rosegger. To mark this occasion, Austrian Post is dedicating a commemorative stamp to the writer who always retained close links to his home.

Peter Rosegger was born on 31st July 1843 in Alpl near Krieglach in Styria, the oldest of seven children. His parents were foresters and the boy, who had to help with the work, was not able to attend school regularly. As he was too frail for the heavy work involved in forestry, and since there was no money to pay for him to train as a priest, he learned the tailor’s trade. In the course of his work as a travelling tailor, working in the homes of his customers, he learned a great deal about the lives of the people in his homeland. He soon developed a passion for reading and started to write his own stories and poems.

The successful writer

Some of his works were published for the first time in the “Grazer Tagespost” newspaper, and in 1869 Peter Rosegger published his first volume of poetry. He acquired financial support and was able to undertake educational trips and to work as a writer. When his first wife died in 1875, shortly after the birth of their second child, he sought refuge in his work. Among other things, he published the monthly journal “Der Heimgarten” from 1876 on, and increasingly began to tackle social grievances.

Throughout his life Peter Rosegger remained very attached to his home. In his expansive narrative “Waldheimat” he describes his memories of his childhood and youth, and the novel “Jakob der Letzte” addresses the fate of Styrian mountain farmers in the age of industrialisation. He was very open to contemporary movements, such as the emerging ideas on protecting nature, and got involved in social projects. So, for example, thanks to his commitment, the Forest School opened in his home of Alpl in 1902, giving the farm children the chance to attend school for the first time.

Peter Rosegger received many awards for his work and for his social engagement, such as the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art and the Order of Franz Joseph, as well as being nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on 26th June 1918 in his home in Krieglach.