This article presents the results of a genealogical and biographical archive search to collect reliable evidence (chiefl y birth certifi cates) and reconstruct Maria Konopnicka’s family tree on as broad as a scale as possible, inclusive of both the agnatic and cognitive lines (with the exception of data available from offi cial heraldry guides). On the strength of the newly obtained data we may now introduce some corrections into the established version of Maria Konopnicka’s biography and identify a number of persons from Maria Konopnicka’s circle of friends, acquaintances and correspondents.
The discovery of some hitherto unknown documents relating to Bolesław Leśmian’s family has made it possible to re-read his autobiographical poems as responses to circumstances and events from the poet’s real life. An analysis of his poems in the light of the information supplied by the newly-discovered source shows that they provide a thoroughly accurate record of events as they happened, especially deaths. Not only do the deaths of his mother, father and his siblings hurt him deeply and foreshadow the end of his own life, but also make him feel guilty for not being able to remember them properly: as his memory fails him, they are condemned to a ‘second death’.
The text deals with the issue of “historical biography”. It aims to reconstruct the key concepts connected with the biographical publishing series “The Legacies of the progressive personalities of our past”. The text answers the question what conceptual framework surrounded and legitimised the edition.