Václav Kaplický

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Bust of writer by sculptor Břetislav Benda

Václav Kaplický (28 August 1895, Sezimovo Ústí – 4 October 1982, Prague) was a Czech writer, journalist and epic poet. He is most known as an author of historical fiction.

Kaplický studied at Gymnasium in Tábor, finishing in 1914. In 1915 he was sent to the front in Galicia where he was taken captive (1916). Later he joined the Czechoslovak Legion. For his political opinions he was imprisoned by the legion and labeled as a traitor. After returning to Czechoslovakia in 1921 he worked in civil service. During the period 1922–1950, Kaplický worked in several publishing houses associated with the Czechoslovak Socialist Party. From 1950 he dedicated his time solely to writing.

The majority of Kaplický's works are historical fictions spanning the period from the Hussite Wars in the 15th century to the revolutionary upheaval of 1848. His novel Kladivo na čarodějnice (1963), about witch trials in northern Moravia during the 1670s is the best known because it served as the basis for movie by Otakar Vávra (Malleus Maleficarum, also translated as Witches' Hammer or Witchhammer).


Historical fiction[edit]

  • Kraj kalicha, 1945 – about Hussite period
  • Čtveráci, 1952 – about peasant uprising 1618–1620
  • Železná koruna (2 volumes), 1954 – about hard life of common people after Thirty Years' War
  • Smršť, 1955
  • Rekruti, 1956
  • Listy z kronik, 1958 – five short historical stories from northern Bohemia
  • Zaťatá pěst, 1959
  • Kladivo na čarodějnice, 1963 – about witch trials in northern Moravia
  • Táborská republika (3 volumes), 1969 – about Hussite period
  • Nalezeno právem, 1971 – about accusation of a Jew from ritual murder in 1687
  • Škůdce zemský Jiří Kopidlanský, 1976 – from period of dynasty of Jagellon
  • Veliké theatrum, 1977 – about earliest phase of Thirty Years' War and preparations to Battle of White Mountain
  • Kdo s koho, 1979 – from period of dynasty of Jagellon
  • Život alchymistův, 1980 – life of alchemist Edward Kelley

For youths[edit]

  • O věrnosti a zradě, 1959 – 15 short historical stories
  • Bandita, Paťara a spol., 1969 – for boys
  • Královský souboj, 1971


  • Gornostaj, finished in 1921, published in 1936 – autobiographic novel about the imprisonment of dissenting legionnaires near Vladivostok, on an island in Gornostai Bay (ru:)
  • Dobří přátelé, 1961 – about love of nature
  • Ani tygři, ani lvi, 1966 – short stories about pet animals
  • Od města k městu, 1975 – wandering of students throughout Czech lands
  • Hrst vzpomínek z mládí, 1988 – first part of Kaplický's memoirs, edited by Jaromíra Nejedlá
  • Hrst vzpomínek z dospělosti, 2010 – second part of memoirs, edited by Martin Kučera

External links[edit]