Blanka Teleki de Szék was born 3 July 1806 in Kővárhosszúfalu, Maramureș County, Transylvania, Austrian Empire to Imre Teleki de Szék (1782-1848) and Karoline Brunswik von Korompa (1782-1843) and died 23 October 1862 Paris, France of unspecified causes.

Early life

Countess Blanka Teleki de Szék was a Hungarian revolutionary, a pioneer advocate for equal rights of women in culture.

Blanka Teleki de Szék was born in a Hungarian noble family of Transylvania. Her father, Imre Teleki de Szék (1782-1848) was active in the preparation of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Her mother, Karoline Brunswik von Korompa (1782-1843) was the founder of the first kindergartens in Hungary. Her aunt Theresia Brunswik von Korompa (1775-1861), who took her abroad in her travels, also had a great influence on Blanka Teleki.

Blanka Teleki in prison - Painting by Viktor Madarász (1830-1917)

Blanka first studied painting in Paris and Munich, as well as sculpture in Budapest with István Ferenczy (1792-1856). In 1846, she opened the first high-school for girls in Hungary. The high-school was directed by [[Klára Leövey (1821-1897) and part of the Hungarian intellectual elite was included in the teaching staff. Blanka Teleki was active in the revolution and authored a manifesto in which she demanded equal rights for women, including the right to higher education. The high-school was closed in 1849, and the staff was forced to flee. Blanka Teleki's correspondence was intercepted by the Austrian authorities and she was arrested due to her support to the revolution. After her trial she was sentenced to death, but her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. She was imprisoned in Brno, Olomouc and finally in Kufstein. Blanka Teleki was released from prison in 1858 and went to Paris where her sister, Emma Teleki de Szék (1809-1893) had settled.

She spent the rest of her life in Paris helping Hungarian refugees and activating to promote the cause of Hungarian nationalists. She died in Paris in 1862 and was interred at the Montparnasse cemetery

Blanka Teleki's grave in Montparnasse cemetery


Footnotes (including sources)

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