Vanessa Redgrave
Stane Sever


1848-49   Languishing and death in Kranj  
is misfortunate life and in particular his drinking had weakened his health so much that he was unable to make a fresh start. He stopped writing poetry, only occasionally turning out the odd obscene verse; he was aware that these were not suitable for the general public, as demonstrated by the fact that he kept such poems in a locked drawer, always carrying the key with him. Most of the poetry associated with drinking was destroyed after his death, in circumstances which were never quite explained, which was often the cause of disagreement between the liberals and the nationalists. In spite of his almost total ruin in Kranj, Prešeren led quite a few lawsuits, which demonstrate the nature of his character. He represented a group of more than a hundred peasants who tried to establish whether they really were bound to pay a tithe to the Kranj dean Dagarin. Apparently, he represented quite a few poor people for free, and he generally did not exploit the numerous opportunities for financial gain offered by the growing centre of the Upper Carniola region.

  In the summer, the last of his friends, Dr Blaž Crobath, died. He had suffered from the same illness that a few weeks later confined Prešeren to his bed - cirrhosis of the liver. The poet's last days were not easy, he was without money and had extensive debts, so that he had nothing to leave to Ana and the children, but he did recognise the children as his in his will. He died on Thursday, 8th February 1849, and was buried in Kranj.

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