Anton Hansen Tammsaare

Anton Hansen Tammsaare (also known as A. H. Tammsaare; born Anton Hansen 30 January 1878 – 1 March 1940), was an Estonian writer whose pentalogy Truth and Justice (Tõde ja õigus; 1926–1933) is considered one of the major works of Estonian literature and "The Estonian Novel".[1]

Anton Hansen Tammsaare
Anton Hansen Tammsaare, 000290
Anton Hansen

30 January 1878
Died1 March 1940 (aged 62)
Other namesA. H. Tammsaare
Alma materUniversity of Tartu
Years active1900–1940
Käthe-Amalie Veltman
(m. 1920; his death 1940)
  • Riita Tammsaare
  • Eerik Tammsaare


Tammsaare-Põhja farm
Birthplace of A.H. Tammsaare
Anton Hansen Tammsaare haud

Tammsaare was born in Järvamaa, in the municipality of Albu, village of Vetepere, Estonia the son of a farmer. He came from a poor background, but managed to collect enough money for his education. More so his family was quite enlightened for the time, with his father for instance ordering newspapers, which most Estonian farmers didn't. He studied in Väike-Maarja and Tartu in Hugo Treffner's Gymnasium, and afterwards at the University of Tartu, where he studied law. Tammsaare's studies were interrupted by tuberculosis in 1911. He spent over a year in a sanatorium in Sochi — where his memorial house is open to the public — and the following six years in his brother's farm in Koitjärve, Estonia (now part of Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve), reading works of Cervantes, Shakespeare and Homer. His younger sister, Maria Hansen, was the mother of Tammaare's nephew, actor Arno Suurorg.

In 1918, when Estonia became independent, Tammsaare moved to Tallinn. It was here that Tammsaare wrote those prose works, based on the history and lives of the Estonian people, which have gained him a prominent place in Estonian literature.

Tammsaare was interested in philosophy and psychology. His novels reflect the ideas of Bergson, Jung and Freud . He was, however, sceptical about cosmopolitanism. “European culture”, he wrote “is something to be overcome if one wishes to see the triumph of love, justice and humanity spoken of so glibly.” Like Carl Robert Jakobson and Jaan Tõnisson's Tartu Renaissance group, he believed that Estonian culture was best served by farmers and intellectuals from rural backgrounds. His work was influenced( at various stages) by Oscar Wilde, Knut Hamsun and André Gide, but, above all, by the Russian realists. “In the whole of world literature," said Tammsaare, I have never read anything to compare to the Russians... there is no one to compare to Tolstoy, Dostoievsky or Gogol"... Dostoievsky “really disturbed me: I lived in a waking dream under his influence. I was especially gripped by Crime and punishment (reference: A.H Tammsaare. L. Siimisker, A.Palm. Eesti Rammat. Tallinn 1978. P:64)


A. H. Tammsaare by Nikolai Triik
Portrait of A.H. Tammsaare by Nikolai Triik, 1927

Tammsaare's early works are characterized by rural "poetic" realism. Some of his stories also reflect the atmosphere of the revolutionary year of 1905. During what is sometimes classified as his second period, from 1908 to 1919, he wrote several short urban novels and collections of miniatures. In "Poiss ja liblikas" (1915, The Boy and the Butterfly), Tammsaare shows the influence of Oscar Wilde. Internationally best known is his last novel, Devil with a False Passport.

Truth and Justice comprises five volumes, which have no individual titles (some were added in translation). Since vol. 3 contains a description about the Russian Revolution of 1905, which is not informed by ideology but by an existential attention to individual suffering, it was often combined with vol. 2 by Soviet censorship.

Even today, the third volume is sometimes called "artistically inferior", although the description of the revolution is on par with similar scenes in Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. In Estonia, the second volume, with its Tartu educational scenes, is today probably the most enjoyed. International critics would probably opt for vol. 1 as the strongest overall; it is a classical peasant novel reminiscent of Hamsun which is also generally held to be the most telling one about "the Estonian character", embodied especially in two antagonistic farmer figures Andres and Pearu. Tammsaare himself said later that the different volumes deal with the relation of Man (i.e., the human person) to (1) the land, (2) God, (3) State and society, (4) him- or herself and (5) resignation.

Truth and Justice was not translated into English until 2014, when Haute Culture Books published the first volume of the saga under the name "Andres and Pearu". There are two complete translations into German and one each into French, Latvian, and Czech. Volume 1 has also been translated into Finnish, Polish, and Hungarian (with the title, Orcad veritekevel).

Selected works

Statue of Tammsaare
Statue of Tammsaare in Tammsaare Park, Tallinn
  • Kaks paari ja üksainus, 1902 - Two Pairs and the One
  • Vanad ja noored, 1903 - Olds and Youngs
  • Raha-auk, 1907 - The Money-Hole
  • Uurimisel, 1907 - Be in Prospect
  • Pikad sammud, 1908 - Long Steps
  • Üle piiri, 1910 - Over the Border
  • Noored hinged, 1909 - Young Spirits
  • Poiss ja liblikas, 1915 - The Boy and the Butterfly
  • Keelest ja luulest, 1915 - About Language and Poetry
  • Kärbes, 1917 - The Fly
  • Varjundid, 1917 - The Shapes of the Shadows
  • Sõjamõtted, 1919 - Thoughts of War
  • Juudit, 1921 - Judith
  • Kõrboja peremees, 1922 - The Master of the Kõrboja
  • Pöialpoiss, 1923 - The Midget
  • Sic Transit, 1924
  • Tõde ja õigus I-V, 1926-33 - Truth and Justice, Vol.1-5
  • Meie rebane, 1932 - Our Fox
  • Elu ja armastus, 1934 - The Life and the Love
  • Ma armastasin sakslast, 1935 - I Loved a German
  • Kuningal on külm, 1936 - The King Is Cold
  • Hiina ja hiinlane, 1938 - China and a Chinese
  • Põrgupõhja uus Vanapagan, 1939 - The Misadventures of the New Satan (or: Devil with a False Passport or: The New Devil of Hellsbottom (the latter being a literal translation from Estonian))
  • Miniatures, 1977
  • Kogutud teosed, 1977-1993 (18 vols.) - Collected Works


  1. ^ A.H Tammsaare. L. Siimisker, A.Palm. Eesti Rammat. Tallinn 1978. P:64

External links

1940 in philosophy

1940 in philosophy

2011 in public domain

When a work's copyright expires, it enters the public domain. The following is a list of works that entered the public domain in 2011. Since laws vary globally, the copyright status of some works are not uniform.

25 krooni

The 25 krooni banknote (25 EEK) is a denomination of the Estonian kroon, the former currency of Estonia. Anton Hansen Tammsaare (1870–1940), who was a famous Estonian writer of classical literature, is featured on the front side of the bill, which is why the 25 krooni banknote is often called a "Tammekas or Tammsaare".

A view of Vargamäe is featured on the reverse side of the banknote. Before the replacement of the EEK by the euro, the 25 krooni was frequently used in everyday transactions. It can be exchanged indefinitely at the currency museum of Eesti Pank for €1.60.

Eili Sild

Eili Sild (born 26 October 1942) is an Estonian stage, film, television and radio actress whose career began on the theatre stage in the early 1960s and has spanned over fifty years.

Estonian Drama Theatre

The Estonian Drama Theatre (Estonian: Eesti Draamateater) is a theatre in Tallinn, Estonia. It has the role of a national theatre for Estonia.


Estosadok, sometimes spelled Esto-Sadok or Estosadoc (Russian: Э́стосадо́к or Э́сто-Садо́к; Estonian: Eesti Aiake, lit. Little Estonian Garden) is a rural locality (a selo) under the administrative jurisdiction of Adlersky City District of the City of Sochi in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Mzymta River, 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) upstream from Krasnaya Polyana. The population of Estosadok is 890 people.It was founded in 1886 by thirty-six Estonian families who arrived to Krasnaya Polyana to render habitable the lands formerly settled by Sadz.

There are the ruins of a Circassian fort and the memorial house of the Estonian writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare. It is the location of the alpine ski resort Alpika-Service. Roza Khutor railway station connects this area with Adler railway station, with further connections to Sochi International Airport, Sochi Olympic Village, and central Sochi.

Helle Meri

Helle Meri (born 14 March 1949), widow of Lennart Meri, is an Estonian actress who also served as the First Lady of Estonia from 1992 to 2001.

Helle Meri (née Pihlak) was born in the small town of Rapla where she also went to school. In her spare time she actively participated in different sports and played basketball.

After secondary school, she went on to study at the Stage School of Tallinn Conservatory. Before serving as the First Lady, she played in the Estonian Drama Theatre from 1972 up until 1992 when Lennart Meri became the Estonian Embassador to Finland prior to his nine years of presidency. The couple got married in 1992 when her acting career came to an end.

In theatre, Helle Pihlak had roles in numerous classical pieces to a good critical acclaim, including the pieces by Estonian classics like August Kitzberg, Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Jaan Kross and Jaan Kruusvall among many. She had roles also in musicals, in children's plays and in film.

Prior to her marriage with Lennart Meri, Helle Pihlak was in a long-term relationship with composer Eino Tamberg. Helle Meri has one daughter, Tuule Meri (born in 1985).

Helle Meri is the patron of the Estonian SOS Children's Village in Keila.

Herta Elviste

Herta Elviste (12 June 1923 – 29 October 2015), was an Estonian stage, film and television actress and assistant theatre director whose career spanned nearly seventy years.

Kärt Tammjärv

Kärt Tammjärv (born 11 June 1991 in Tallinn) is an Estonian actress.

She graduated in 2010 from Pelgulinna Gümnaasium, in addition, she has studied at Tallinna Muusikakool and the Arsis Handbell School. In 2014 she graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.Since 2014 she is an actress at the Vanemuine Theater.

Kõrboja peremees

Kõrboja peremees is a novel by Estonian author Anton Hansen Tammsaare. It was first published in 1922.

List of museums in Estonia

This is a list of museums in Estonia.

List of people on the postage stamps of Estonia

This is a list of people on postage stamps of Estonia.

Betti Alver (2006)

Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen (2003)

Matthias Johann Eisen (2007)

Gustav Ernesaks (1994, 2008)

Friedrich Robert Faehlmann (1938, 1998)

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (1994)

Jüri Jaakson (2010)

Carl Robert Jakobson (2002)

Johann Voldemar Jannsen (1994, 1999)

Gerd Kanter (2008)

Lydia Koidula (1993, 2002)

Johann Köler (2001, small portrait in margin of block)

Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (1938, 2003)

Adam Johann von Krusenstern (2003)

Juhan Kukk (2010)

Aleksander Kunileid (1995)

Julius Kuperjanov (2009)

Johan Laidoner (2009)

August Mälk (2000)

Guglielmo Marconi (1996)

Lennart Meri (1999, 2009)

Felix Moor (2001)

Alfred Neuland (1996)

Erki Nool (2001)

Ragnar Nurkse (2007)

Fredrik Pacius (1999)

Kristjan Palusalu (2008)

Louis Pasteur (1995)

Konstantin Päts (1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940)

Ants Piip (2009)

Arnold Rüütel (2003)

Heinrich von Stephan (1997)

Kristina Šmigun (2006)

Otto Strandman (2008)

Anton Hansen Tammsaare (2003)

Eduard Tubin (2005)

Marie Under (1996)

Andrus Veerpalu (2002, 2006)

Mari Lill

Mari Lill (born 21 December 1945) is an Estonian stage, film and television actress whose career began onstage in the late 1960s.

Meeli Sööt

Meeli Sööt (born 13 September 1937) is an Estonian stage, television, radio and film actress.

Truth and Justice

Truth and Justice (Estonian: Tõde ja õigus) I-V, written in 1926–1933, is a pentalogy by Anton Hansen Tammsaare, considered to be his most famous work, and one of the foundational works in Estonian literature.

Tammsaare's social epic captured the evolution of Estonia from province of Russian Empire to independent nation. It was based partly on the author's own life and centered on the contrast between the urban middle class and hard-working peasantry. The protagonist, Indrek Paas, moves from a farm to a city, witnesses uprisings and upheavals, tries to find peace in marriage and the middle and upper class life-style, but returns disappointed to his roots for a new start.

Viru Square

Viru Square (Estonian: Viru väljak) was a square in the center of Tallinn, Estonia. It existed as a square until 2002 when the construction of Viru Centre began. Currently there's only a roundabout and an official "street name" left of the former open area. The roundabout is the intersection of three main streets of Tallinn: Pärnu maantee (Pärnu Road), Narva maantee (Narva Road), Mere puistee (Sea Avenue); and two smaller: Viru tänav and Vana-Viru tänav (Old-Viru Street). Also all of the four tram lines of Tallinn go through the roundabout.


Väike-Maarja is a small borough (Estonian: alevik) in Lääne-Viru County, Estonia. It is the administrative centre of Väike-Maarja Parish.

Väike-Maarja Church was initially built as a fortress church.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.