Sunday, January 25, 2009

Researching Slovakia

I haven't paid close attention to Tintin, much as I love him, since I was twelve. At that time, we were living in Copenhagen, Denmark, where my father was teaching political science for one semester.
English-language materials were a bit scarce in Copenhagen in 1973. I borrowed British and American standards (Dickens, Steinbeck) from the small selection at the library.
More happily, I would spend my allowance at a particular toy store that sold Tintin books in English. I bought them one at a time and read them over and over, including, of course, King Ottokar's Sceptre.

Because I've never been close to my father, I got most of my history not from him but from sources like Herge. So... I've always been a bit confused as to what's actually real.

This weekend I'm reading along about the Great Moravian Empire for my Slovakia research, and--how 'bout that?!--did you know there really was an Ottokar in history, and a rather important one too, if you consider the history of the Great Moravian Empire important, which of course I do (now that Slovakia is mine, as Jen says)?

Yes indeed. King Ottokar II ruled a bunch of places thereabouts (sorry, I haven't yet untangled this geography), but he lost many of them to the Habsburgs in the 1200s.
Or Hapsburgs, if you prefer. Who held onto them until they lost WWI.

I think my old Tintin books, passed down to my little brother, may still be at my father's house. I must ask him to mail me this important historical document.


Rudyinparis said...

Or you can borrow my copy!

fresca said...

A ha! A reason to meet for coffee!