Karel Čapek

1890 – 1938

Karel Čapek had already achieved world recognition right at the beginning of his literary work. Karel was not only an excellent story teller, but an expert on human nature, as well. For him, an individual was part of a higher entirety, a person inserted into society. The legacy of the world, and especially the legacy of our own nation in the middle of Europe, was always deeply immersed in his heart. To this he dedicated the majority of his journalistic work. He was a prosaist, a dramatist, a publicist, but, in particular with his translations, he proved he was also a poet. He was, of course, a great painter and photographer, as well. He was a person with a wide outlook and deep knowledge, but also with a sense for man and his problems. (Aleš Fetters)

Karel Čapek
Karel Čapek By date
  • 1890 1890 - 9.1. born in Malé Svatoňovice
  • 1895 - 1901 1895 - 1901 - attends a common school and the first grade of the bourgeois school in Úpice
  • 1901 - 1905 1901 - 1905 - studies at a grammar school in Hradec Králové
  • 1905 - 1907 1905 - 1907 - transfers to the First Czech Grammar School in Brno
  • 1907 - 1909 1907 - 1909 - after moving all the family from Úpice to Prague, studies at the Academic Grammar School in Prague
  • 1909 - 1915 1909 - 1915 - studies Philosophy, Aesthetics, History of Fine Art, German Studies, English-American Studies and Czech Studies at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University. In November 1915, he receives a Doctorate of Philosophy.
  • 1917 1917 - acts as a private in-home teacher of Prokop Lažanský at the castle in Chyše by Žlutice. In October he starts as an editor of the National Journal (Národní listy)
  • 1920 1920 - meets actor Olga Scheinpflug
  • 1921 - 1938 1921 - 1938 - is an editor in the Prague editorial office of People’s News (Lidové noviny)
  • 1921 - 1923 1921 - 1923 - is a script editor and director at the Royal Vineyards City Theater
  • 1922 1922 - is introduced for the first time to president T. G. Masaryk, with whom he was bound by a lifelong friendship
  • 1923 1923 - trip to Italy
  • 1924 1924 - trip to England
  • 1925 1925 - founds the Czechoslovakian branch of an international writers organization called Penclub
  • 1929 1929 - trip to Spain
  • 1931 1931 - trip to the Netherlands
  • 1935 1935 - 26. 8. wedding with Olga Scheinpflug. The newlyweds receive a house in Stará Huť near the municipality Dobříš – Strž from Václav Palivec for lifelong use.
  • 1936 1936 - undertakes a trip around Scandinavia together with his wife. For the first time is nominated for a Nobel Peace Price in literature.
  • 1937 1937 - attends the Penclub World Congress in Paris
  • 1938 1938 - significantly participates in the Penclub World Congress organization in Prague. After the Munich conference, is forced to face a hateful press campaign against him. After liquidation of the house in Strž due to flood damage, he falls ill with influenza and pneumonia.
  • 1938 1938 - 25.12. succumbs to severe pneumonia, died in Prague
  • 1938 1938 - 29.12. buried in Vyšehrad
1890 1938
Selected artwork stories theatrical plays novels fairytales
Full list of works

It is the corner between the Úpa and Metuje rivers, between Grandma’s Valley (Babiččino údolí) and the tranquil Jirásek Hronov basin. Wherever you climb up the hill, you can see Sněžka up in the north and Bor and Hejšovina in the east, the giant border stones of the country... Also

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Film Adaptations (0) display all


  • Gibel sensatsii (R.U.R.) - SSSR, 1935
  • R.U.R.: Genesis – (apparently USA, 2016)

The most represented theatrical play of Karel Čapek is ”R.U.R.“ – immediately after its publication in 1920, the play received unprecedented success not only in former Czechoslovakia, but also abroad.

The Czechoslovakian debut took place on the 2nd of January, 1921 in Hradec Králové, where the production was introduced by the local amateur group Klicpera. The Prague premiere took place at the National Theater on January 25, 1921.

It is known that the word robot was created by Karel’s brother Josef – he derived the word from the word ”robota“ – ”robotovat“ (labor – to labor).

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