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Wiek XIX i self-help

Joanna Kubicka

The 19th Century and Self-Help

The article concisely presents the economic, as well as social and cultural changes, which formed the base for popular in the nineteenth century concept of self-help, widespread in particular due to the works of the British author – Samuel Smiles. These changes were accompanied by increasing popularity of a biography as a genre and a category of modern understanding of a place of an individual in the society. Books by Smiles based on biographies, expressing early emancipation aspirations, reached as well the Polish lands. In the Kingdom of Poland the reception of the most popular book – Self-Help – was included in the discussion on condition of intellectuals and democratization of the social relations and possible ways of social development.