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Anna Margaret Birkbeck

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Published : 1 Article
Pen Names : None
Date of Birth : N/A
Death : N/A
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Daughter of George Birkbeck, the pioneer in adult education. Married to Sándor Mednyánszky, Hungarian military officer. Date of marriage given by Godard (George Birkbeck, p. 196) as 1857.


The Office Book assigns 'The Golden Age of Hungary' to Miss Birkbeck. Rural and Historical Gleanings from Eastern Europe, in which the article was reprinted, likewise bears her name as author. Other sections of the book, "By Miss A. M. Birkbeck", first appeared in Sharpe's, 1853-1854. Miss Birkbeck dedicated Rural and Historical Gleanings, by permission, to Lady Langdale, in admiration of Lady Langdale's generous conduct toward Hungarian refugees. In her dedication Miss Birkbeck wrote, concerning the book itself: "... I am indebted for the materials of which it is composed partly to the kindness of a friend, who, during a long sojourn in Hungary, acquired an accurate knowledge of that land, as well as of its inhabitants; and partly to the living chronicles of their own and their country's misfortunes, the exiles, whom the force of the political earthquake of 1848 cast upon our shores". The book was brought out in a second edition in the same year in which the first edition appeared. It was praised by the Atlas, the Examiner, and other periodicals.

[Lohrli maintains that both the article and Rural and Historical Gleanings are actually by Birkbeck's husband, who dictated the work to her but wished to remain anonymous. However, Birkbeck's preface, quoted above, suggests that she contributed original material to the text. See also Sándor Mednyánszky.—DJO Ed.].

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1973.

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