Cécile Tormay

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Cécile Tormay
Tormay Cécile01.png
Cécile Tormay in Napkelet lexikon
Born October 8, 1876 Edit this on Wikidata
Died April 2, 1937 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 60)

Cécile Tormay (October 8, 1876 in Budapest – April 2, 1937 in Mátraháza) was a Hungarian writer, intellectual, right-wing political activist, feminist, literary translator, and social theorist. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature nine times.[1]


Both her parents were of German origin. Her maternal great-grandfather, József Spiegel (Tüköry de Algyest), was a building contractor, helped István Széchenyi build the Chain Bridge. Her faternal grandfather, Károly Krenmüller (Tormay), took part in the 1848-49 revolution as an army major. The Tormay family received nobility in the late 19th century. Her father, Béla Tormay, was widely recognized as an expert on agriculture, was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a State Secretary. Her mother was Hermin Barkassy. Cécile Tormay was a private student, she studied literary works in German, Italian, French and Latin. She translated the Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi into Hungarian.

In 1919 she began expressing her political views, and opposed the Béla Kun regime. She published a book (An Outlaw's Diary (Bujdosó könyv, 1925, literally The Proscribed Book)) about the events of the 1918–1919 revolution, protesting against the subsequent communist government and regretting the division of the kingdom of Hungary.

She was a great admirer of Mussolini. In 1932, on the tenth anniversary of the March on Rome, she met the Italian dictator, presenting him the good wishes of her Hungarian women's league in a speech in Italian.[2]

Cecile Tormay was intensely anti-semitic, and fought a relentless fight against Judaism in her literary works. She accused the Jews in Hungary of biologically corrupting the Hungarian "race".

She is known for two novels (People of the Rocks (Emberek a kövek között), 1911; The Old House (A Régi ház), 1914) and five short stories. She was nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature twice: in 1936 and in 1937.[3]