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306 MASARYKOVÁ GARRIGUE, Charlotta (1850–1923) Activist for women’s equality, Social Democrat and wife of the first President of the Czechoslovak Republic, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850–1937). Charlotta Garrigue was born in Brooklyn , New York on 20 November 1850. Her father, Rudolf Garrigue (1822–1891), was of Huguenot descent, born in Kodan (Denmark). While working for the publisher Brockhouse in Leipzig as a young man, he had been sent to the United States to carry out market research there and had remained in New York, becoming a bookseller and later on, a chief executive in an insurance company (Germania). Charlotta’s mother, Charlotte Lydia Garrigue (1825–1891), born Whiting, was from a family that had come to America from England in the seventeenth century. The family was very religious and Charlotta, the third of eleven children, was a member of the Unitarian Church (which proclaimed individual freedom of belief). She was eleven when the Civil War began, an experience that affected her deeply and contributed to her aversion to discrimination of all kinds, including discrimination against women. Her father’s mother Cecilie, a modern and emancipated woman who invited African Americans to her house to read them the latest news from the battlefields and discuss the politics of Abraham Lincoln and the future of Southern slavery, was also a great influence on the young Charlotta. On account of Charlotta’s musical talent, her father sent her to Leipzig in 1874 to stay with his friends Mr and Ms Göring and study piano at the Leipzig Conservatory. However, her musical career was disrupted as a result of the partial paralysis of one of her hands. In 1877, during her second visit to Leipzig, she met Tomáš Masaryk (1850–1937), then working on his habilitation in philosophy. Masaryk later said of Charlotta Garrigue: “She had a magnificent intellect, better than mine … she loved mathematics. All through her life she desired exact knowledge, but did not lack feeling on that account. She was deeply religious” (Čapek 1936, 73). The two became close while reading English classics together such as John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women (1869). Masaryk asked her to marry him and the wedding took place on 15 March 1878 in Brooklyn Town Hall. Unusually, Tomáš Masaryk attached Garrigue’s name to his own and thereafter signed his name Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. 307 The newly-weds returned to Europe and settled in Vienna. Masaryk became an unsalaried tutor at Vienna University, earning his money giving private lessons and teaching at a secondary school. In 1879 a daughter, Alice, was born, followed a year later by a son, Herbert. The family income in Vienna was insufficient and Masaryk gladly accepted a professorship at the Czech University in Prague, where the family lived from 1882. Two more children were born in Prague: a son, Jan (1886) and a daughter, Olga (1891). They were happier in Prague than in Vienna and their standard of living also improved. Charlotta Garrigue Masaryková soon learned Czech and within a short time had adjusted to her new surroundings. She began writing articles on Czech culture for American and European newspapers, including texts on the composer Bedřich Smetana, whom she greatly admired. She also wrote an erudite essay on Smetana’s work for the Czech magazine Naše doba (Our era). It became habitual in the Masaryk family home to organize evening discussion sessions attended by Tomáš’s university colleagues, writers, artists, scientists and students . Garrigue Masaryková was the hostess and the heart and soul of these gatherings , avidly entering into discussions with the guests. The topics of morality, love, marriage and the family were discussed openly without constraint. Garrigue Masarykov á felt especially close to students and young people in general; she enjoyed giving them advice and even financial assistance. Her activities were not restricted to the ‘private’ sphere however and, like her husband, she became an active participant in public life. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk served in the Austrian Parliament (1891–1893; 1907– 1914), first representing the Mladočeská strana (Young Czech Party), later the more moderate Česká strana pokroková (Czech Progressive Party). Both parties fought for an independent Czech state. On several occasions, Masaryk took a stand against the dissemination of racist and nationalistic mythologies. He defended Leopold Hilsner, a Jewish man who had been falsely accused of ritual murder (1899). During the case, Masaryk and his family were much criticized and slandered: Prague residents harassed Garrigue Masaryková and their children were insulted on...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155053726
Related ISBN
9789637326394
MARC Record
OCLC
868217084
Pages
698
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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