As the Owl Flies over Pest. The Descendants of Júlia Szendrey

As the Owl Flies over Pest. The Descendants of Júlia Szendrey

As the Owl Flies over Pest. The Descendants of Júlia Szendrey
Preface and footnotes written, the Horváth family mailbox edited by Péter Buza
NSZL–Town Protection Association for Budapest, 2016.
[Budapest Books, Nagy Budapest Törzsasztal, series edited by Noémi Saly]
, 244 pages
ISBN 978 963 7537 46 2

2 000,- Ft

Júlia Szendrey, the widow of poet Sándor Petőfi, started a new life with her second husband, historian Árpád Horváth. This documentary volume elaborates on Júlia’s interesting and painful life whose many moments were linked to the famous Hét Bagoly (Seven Owls) building of the 19th century Pest. We learn about the children of the couple and the following generations of the Horváth family up until the last descendant, the great-great-granddaughter of Júlia and Árpád Horváth: Daisy Mambrini who worked as a cashier in a department store in Dortmund, Germany.

The ill-fated second marriage of Júlia Szendrey ended with her tragically early death at the age of 39. She took to the grave the secret of her last years, something that only recently has been discovered: an affair with a third man. His existence has been so far unknown to the history of literature, as well as the mostly tragic lives of the Horváth descendants (the two sons Attila and Árpád, the daughter Ilona, the grandchildren and the great-grandson) during the next 150 years.

This volume, including the introductory study and the well-ordered collection of documents, is a result of the author’s thorough research. The documents include the correspondence and exchange of messages between the Horváth sons and their parents at the end of the 1860’s, when Júlia definitely moved away from her husband, and Horváth himself was not living with his sons either, seeing them only in the evenings, Sundays and holidays. Another set of documents now published for the first time is the hand-written journal of the adolescent boys, Tarka Újság (“Multicolor Magazine”) in seven issues.

All in all, and beyond the new pieces of information found, the publication depicts authentically the days of a 19th century family, among whose members there are some (at least partly) known characters of the Hungarian literary history.

Budapest Books

Budapest Books is a ten-volume series of source publications arranged by Nagy Budapest Asztaltársaság (“Circle of Friends of Budapest”), and published in cooperation between NSZL and the Town Protection Association for Budapest. Each volume presents a notable figure, a scene or environment from the history of the Hungarian capital city. The series is edited by Noémi Saly.