Václav Kaplický

Sezimovo Ústí, 1895 - Praha, 1982

Václav Kaplický was a Czech novelist, journalist, and author of Czech historical fiction and legionnaire prose. He is best known as a writer of historical fiction. Born at a solitary farmstead called Červený Dvůr near Kozí Hrádek, he studied at a gymnasium and technical school in nearby Tábor, where he lived (1904–1914) in a house on the square close to the school. He graduated in 1914 and was drafted into the First World War the following year and sent to the Galician front. There, he was captured in 1916 and subsequently joined the Czechoslovak legions. In 1918, he was a delegate at a banned military congress and, following this discovery, was arrested and imprisoned in Vladivostok. Upon his return to Czechoslovakia (1919), he became an employee of the secretariat of the Socialist Union of Czechoslovak Legionnaires and shortly thereafter (1919–1922) served as an official at the Ministry of National Defense. From 1922 to 1950, he worked in several publishing houses (e.g., Čin, Pokrok, Družstevní práce, Melantrich), initially as an official and later as a managing editor, such as in 1926 when he worked in the editorial office of Cestami odboje – Jak žily a kudy táhly československé legie (The Paths of Resistance – Life and Marches In the Czechoslovak Legions). From 1950 onwards, he dedicated himself solely to literature. He aimed to deepen popular reading with a critical view, especially on social issues, but later focused exclusively on historical prose, with the core of his work being the Hussite era, the period of witch trials and lawlessness, and various uprisings, revolts, and popular resistance.