Mihály Csokonai Vitéz was born in Debrecen on 17 November 1773. His grand- father was a Reformed Church pastor, and his father was József Csokonai Vitéz, an educated and respected barber and surgeon. His mother, Sára Diószegi, was a well-read and educated daughter of an affluent tailor. Often called the “poeta doctus” (learned poet), Mihály Csokonai Vitéz was one of the great writers, poets and literary translators of the Enlightenment period. In terms of content and form, he modernised the language of Hungarian poetry. Able to write and speak several languages (Latin, Greek, German, French, Italian, Spanish), he experimented with all genres of writing, ranging from songs and odes, impromptu verses, cheeky student poems, Rococo romantic lyrics and theatrical pieces, to the comic epos and deep philosophical poems. Csokonai completed his secondary schooling at the Debrecen Reformed Church College and then began studying theology there. He wrote poems about his time as a student. From 1794 to 1795 he was a popular teacher of the poetry class, but his instructors advised him to leave the College in 1795 due to behaviour that was deemed objectionable. In 1795–1796, he read law at the College of Sárospatak, but soon abandoned his studies to travel to the National Diet in Bratislava. Following this, he went to Komárom to find a publisher for his poetry. It was in Komárom in 1797 that he met Julianna Vajda, who became his famous muse, known as Lilla in his writings. Although Lilla also loved him, her wealthy parents refused to sanction their marriage and she was soon wed to a wealthy merchant. Csokonai then spent two years in Somogy county (1798–1799, including one successful year as a substitute teacher at the Csurgó Reformed Gymnasium) before returning home to Debrecen, where he died of tuberculosis on 28 January 1805. He had a difficult life, lacking the security of steady income, the literary success of having his poetry published and happiness in his personal life. János Földi and Mihály Fazekas were among his friends, while Ferenc Kazinczy, 14 years his elder, considered him a great talent, but often criticised his poetry. His writings and poems, which spread by way of handwritten manuscripts, made him a popular figure during his lifetime. A collection of his poetry was published by József Márton in 1813 and his complete works were later published by Ferenc Toldy (Schedel) in 1844.