Polish post issued postage stamp of Jan Potocki (1761 – 1815), a legendary figure of Poland. Jan Potocki is very well known because of his strange, supernatural novel The Manuscript Found in Saragossa.
Jan Potocki had the good fortune as he was born into one of the wealthiest aristocratic families in Poland.
Jan Potocki was educated in Geneva and Lausanne where he received a solid grounding in various fields. He had amazing capacity for languages and could speak eight different languages.
He served twice in the Polish Army as a captain of engineers, and spent some time on a galley in the service of the Knights of Malta which included a naval battle against the Barbary corsairs.
Potocki’s wealth allowed him to travel extensively about Europe where he developed a strong scholarly interest in other cultures about which he began to write extensively, as well as recording accounts of his own spirited adventures thus becoming one of the first modern travel writers.
Potocki wrote a series of books and essentially founded the study of ethnology by Collecting historical, cultural and linguistic research while travelling through North Africa and Asia.
In 1790 he became the first person in Poland to fly in a hot air balloon when he made an ascent over Warsaw with the aeronaut Jean-Pierre Blanchard, an exploit that earned him great public acclaim.
He became a known publicist, publishing newspapers and pamphlets, in Poland. Later in 1788 he founded a publishing house named Drukarnia Wolna (Free Press) in Warsaw as well as the city’s first free reading room.
Potocki married twice and had five children. In 1812, he retired to his estate at U?adówka due to poor health, suffering from “melancholia”, and during the last few years of his life he completed his novel.
Title: Jan Potocki
Date of Issue: 25 June 2015
Denominations: 5 z?
Source: Poland Post
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