Josef Václav Sládek (1845–1912)

Czech poet, translator and journalist. He lived in the United States during the years 1868–1870, which led him to take an interest in Anglo-Saxon literature. One of the works he translated from English was Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, which Dvořák would have had the chance of reading long before his departure for America. During his tenure in the United States, Dvořák was occupied for some time with the idea of setting the epic to music as an opera. Dvořák was in contact with Sládek, also since the poet visited Vysoká u Příbramě on various occasions, where he stayed in a little house on the edge of the chateau grounds.