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Australia (5 Dollars, 2001), Catherine Helen Spence (1825–1910)

Catherine Helen Spence was a journalist, social reformer and novelist who was also the leading woman in public affairs at the turn of the century in Australia. She was in the vanguard of first-wave feminism seeking equality of opportunity for women in this country, and was lauded as the ‘Grand Old Woman of Australia’. From the pulpit to the platform, she championed the rights of women, lobbied for greater child welfare provision, and argued for a more democratic electoral system. Her clear, wide-ranging articles were mainly on literature, politics and social issues. She is credited as the first woman novelist in Australia to portray antipodean issues with the publication in 1854 of her first novel, Clara Morison: A Tale of South Australia During the Gold Fever.  

Bulgaria (5000 Leva,1997), Zahari Stoyanov (1851-1889)

Zahari Stoyanov was a Bulgarian revolutionary, writer, and historian. A participant in the April Uprising of 1876, he became its first historiographer with his book Memoirs of the Bulgarian Uprisings. Stoyanov directed the Unification of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia in 1885, and was one of the leaders of the People's Liberal Party until the end of his life.

Denmark (50 Kroner, 2004), Karen von Blixen (1885-1962)

Karen Blixen is the internationally best known and possibly the greatest Danish writer of the twentieth century. Her reputation as an author rests on several books written in English under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen including: Seven Gothic Tales, Winters Tales and Out of Africa. In 1954 she fails to receive Nobel Prize for literature awarded to Ernest Hemingway and in 1957, fails to receive Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Albert Camus.

Romania (1000 Lei 1998), Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889)

M. Eminescu is regarded as the national poet of Romania. He was suffering the last five years of his life from paralysis and died at the age of 38. From 1869 to 1874 he studied philosophy in Vienna and Berlin, and later on worked as a Librarian, Superintendent of elementary school and newspaper editor. He was most loved for his writings dealing with nature, and love. His lyric in fact has a very proper and touching melody. Only a small part of his work was published in his lifetime.

Romania (200 Lei 2006), Lucian Blaga (1895-1961)

Blaga was born in Lancram, Romania into a family of priests. He received a degree in theology at Sibiu in 1917 and a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Vienna in 1920. In his life time, he had been a magazine editor, a Romanian diplomat and a college professor of cultural philosophy. Blaga published his first poems in 1910, and two years later he traveled to Italy, where he scoured libraries for books on philosophy and visited historical sites. In 1914 he published "Notes on Intuition in Bergson," his first philosophical article. From 1914 to 1917 he avoided serving in the Austro-Hungarian army by taking theology courses at the Sibiu Orthodox Seminary, then moved to Vienna, Austria, where he studied philosophy and biology at the University of Vienna. In 1919 his first volume of poetry, Poemele luminii (Poems of Light), was published. His thesis titled "Culture and Cognition" earned him a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1920, the same year he married. In 1956 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, on the proposal of Italy's Rosa del Conte and France's Brazil Munteanu. Blaga was on the verge of receiving the award when the communist regime in Bucharest dispatched emissaries to Sweden to make false political allegations in protest of his nomination.
Silenced as a writer and intellectual, Blaga died of cancer on May 6, 1961, in Cluj, Romania, and was buried three days later, on his birthday, in the Lâncrâm church garden, near Sebeş. In 1962 his writings began to be published once more, many of them edited by his daughter, and in 1995 the University of Sibiu changed its name to Lucian Blaga University.

France (10 Francs, 1972), Francois Marie Arouet (1694-1778)

His pen name was Voltair. His intelligence, wit and style made him one of France's greatest writers and philosophers. His humorous verses made him a favorite in the society. He was imprisoned in the Bastille for eleven months for writing a scathing satire of the French Government. During his time in prison Francois Marie wrote "Oedipe" which was his first theatrical success. In 1726 Voltire insulted the powerful young nobleman, "Chevalier De Rohan" and was given two options: imprisonment or exile. He chose exile and from 1726 to 1729 lived in England. After returning to Paris he wrote a book praising English customs and institutions. It was interpreted as criticism of the French government and in 1734 Voltaire was forced to leave Paris again.

France ( 5 New Frances,1965), Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

The premier writer of the 19th century, through his vast and wonderful collection of works, takes his place among the literary grates. Among Hugo's best known works are The Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

Sweden (20 Kronor, 1991),Salma Lagerlof (1858-1940)

The first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. Her most beloved work was "The Wonderful Adventure of Nils". When Finland fought against the Soviet arrression during the winter war, Lagerlof donated her Nobel medal to a fund raising to help the struggling country.

Lithuania (1 Litu, 1994),Julija Zemaite (1845-1921)

Zemaite was a Lithuanian author of the same reputation as Selma Lagerlöf in Sweden. She has been featured on a large number of stamps, both in her native Lithuania and in Russia.  She wrote about peasant life in the style best described as realism.

Scotland (5 Pounds, 1996), Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Robert Burns is considered Scotland's greatest poet who is best known for his feeling  descriptions of country life and for satires against the political and religious hypocrisy of that time. The last years of his life were devoted to writing great poetic masterpieces. He died at the age 37 of heart disease. To mark the 200th anniversary of the poet's death in 1996 some notes were produced with an overprint with verses of Burn's poems.

Greece (50 Drachma, 1941), Homer

The Greek poet Homer composed both the Illiad and the Odyssey, the most influential works of literature in the ancient Greek World.

Greece (200 Drachmai, 1996), Rigas Fereos-Velestinlis (1757-1798)

Rigas Fereos-Velestinlis was a Greek poet and patriot. He spent part of the 1790s in Vienna. By the influenced of French Revolution, he printed a number of revolutionary tracts. He intended to distribute them in an effort to stimulate a Pan-Balkan uprising against the Ottomans. But a fellow Greek reported him to the Austrian authorities. He and a small group of "co-conspirators" were promptly handed over to the Ottoman authorities. They were strangulated by the Ottomans in Belgrade in the summer of 1798.

Azerbaijan (500 Manat, 1993), Nizami Ganjevi (1141-1209)

The great Azerbaijan poet was born in the ancient town of Ganja. He was one of the most educated men of his time. Besides his mother language he knew Persian and Arabic language. He was interested in astronomy, logic, history, philosophy and other sciences. Nizami's immortal works have exerted a profound influence not only Azerbaijan literature, but the world literature as well.

Slovenia (1000 Tolarjev, 2004), France Preseren (1800-1848)

Preseren is a national hero who advanced the modern Slovenian language and expressed the Slovenians' desire for national and political independence. His poem "A Toast", set to music as Slovenia's national anthem, presents a vision of equality and friendly coexistence among nations.

Great Britain (10 pounds, 1990), Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870)

The greatest English novelist of the Victorian era. Some of his great novels are " A Christmas Carol", "David Copperfield", "bleak House", "A Tale of Two Cities", "Great Expectations", and "Our Mutual Friend".

Austria (500 Schilling, 1997), Rosa Mayreder (1858-1938)

Austrian writer, also known as a painter. Her entire life was passed in Vienna and surroundings. She was the author of a number of popular novels. In addition, she was active in the movement for woman suffrage in Austria.

Indonesia (50000 Rupiah, 1999), Wage Rudolf Supratman (1903-1938)

Rudolf Supratman  wrote and composed the Indonesian National Anthem in 1928 during the Dutch colonial rule of the island. "Divide and rule" was the policy of the day which deliberately aggravated language, ethnic, cultural, and religious differences amongst the people. Wage Rudolf Supratman at the second All Indonesian Youth Congress on 28th October 1928 in Batavia, now Jakarta, first introduced the song. 

Norway (50 Kroner, 1998), Peter Christen Asbjornsen (1812-1885)

Asbjornsen started collecting and writing fairy tales and legends in his twentieth year. He and Jorgen Engebretsen Moe (1813-1882) first met when he was fourteen years old. In 1834 Asbjørnsen discovered that Moe had started independently on a search for the relics of national folklore. They eagerly compared their results, and determined to work together. In 1842-1843 the first installment of their work appeared, under the title of Norske Folkeeventyr (Norwegian Folk Tales), which was received at once all over Europe as a most valuable contribution to comparative mythology as well as literature. A second volume was published in 1844, and a new collection in 1871. Sir George Dasent translated many of the Folkeeventyr into English in 1859.In 1845 Asbjørnsen also published, without help from Moe, a collection of Norwegian fairy tales (huldreeventyr og folkesagn). He died January 6, 1885.

Spain(500 Pesetas,1979), Rosalia De Castro(1837-1883)

Spanish poet and novelist. She is one of the greatest protagonists of regionalism in Spanish literature. Her intimate studies of the Galician province early brought her into literary prominence. Castro's sensitive and compassionate poetry with its metrical innovations has exerted considerable influence on modern poets.

Brazil(1000 Cruzados 1988),Machado de Assis(1839-1908)

The greatest author ever produced in Latin America, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was born to a Portuguese mother and a Brazilian mulato father. The family was extremely poor and his formal education never went beyond the elementary level. He became involved with the printed world at an early age, first as a typesetter and proofreader, and later as a writer of columns on current events and ideas for various newspapers. Irony was for him a vehicle for social criticism.

Ireland(10 pounds,1999), James Joyce(1882-1941)

James Joyce is the most celebrated author of the twentieth century. He was an Irish author whose writings feature revolutionary innovations in prose technuques. He is one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for his epic novel Ulysses (1922).

Argentina (2 Pesos, 1993), Bartolome Mitre (1821-1906)

Mitra was known in his youth as a poet and in later years as a historian. In 1862 Mitre was elected president. He devoted himself  chiefly to literary work. He founded La Nacion which became one of South America's leading newspapers.

France (100 Francs, 1976), Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)

He was a French Dramatist who was educated by the Jesuits, studied law, and then entered the Rouen parliament in 1629. He wrote twenty plays during this period. After his retirement, he wrote twelve more. Corneille was known for writing dramas both comedic and襘;tragic.襘;

Democratic Republic of Germany (20 Mark, 1975) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German poet, novelist, playwright, and natural philosopher. He is one of the greatest writers in Western literature, well-known for Faust.

Portugal (100 Escudos, 1981), Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage (1765–1805)

Portuguese poet. Barbosa composed sonnets that are among the finest in the Portuguese language. When he was 15 years old he left school for military service. During the next ten years he served in both the army and navy, traveled extensively, and moved to Lisbon. Around 1790, he joined the literary circle known as the Nova Arcadia. In 1796, his book of poems, titled A pavorosa illusion du eternidade (The Fearful Illusion of Eternity), was published and he was imprisoned by the police on charges of expressing impious and revolutionary views. After his release he made a living doing translations. 

Czech Republic ( 500 Korun, 1997 ), Mrs. Bozena Nemcova (1820-1862)

Mrs. Bozena Nemcova was Czech novelist and storyteller, developed the regional tale, which she enhanced with an original prose style. Her major works include "The Grandmother" and "Mountain Village" along with a published collection of Slovak folk tales.

Australia (10 Dollara, 1993), Andrew Barton Paterson (1864-1941)

Andrew Barton Paterson was a famous Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural life. Paterson became a literary celebrity following the publication of 'The Man from Snowy River' in 1895. His most popular works include 'Waltzing Matilda' and 'The Man from Snowy River'.

Denmark (10 Kroner, 1959), Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Danish writer, famous for his fairy tales, which were not meant merely for children but for adults as well. Andersen used frequently colloquial style that disguises the sophisticated moral teachings of his tales. Before achieving success as a playwright and novelist, Andersen was trained as singer and actor. Many of Andersen's fairy tales depict characters who gain happiness in life after suffering and conflicts. Among the best known stories are The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Red Shoes.

Estonia (100 Krooni, 1999), Lydia Koidula (1843-1886)

Lydia Koidula was born Lydia Emilia Florentine Jannsen in Vandra, southwest of Estonia. He father owned the first national Estonian language newspaper in 1864. Lydia wrote for her father's paper and also published her own work. She died in 1886 after a long illness. Her last poem was Enne surma-Eestimaale!

Czechoslovakia (10 Korun, 1986), Pavol Orszagh Hviezdoslav (1849-1921)

Hviezdoslav is author of a large number of epic and lyric-epic poetry. His most important epic poem is "Hajnikova zena" ("The gamekeepers wife"). As a student in Hungarian schools, Hviezdoslav began writing poems in Hungarian and German. But at the age of 18 he started writing poems only in Slovak. 

German Federal Republic (5 Deutsche Mark, 1991), Bettina von Arnim (1785-1859)

Brentano, was one of the foremost writers in modern German literature. Her three best-known works were based on her correspondence with the famous German philosopher-writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), with German poet Karoline von Günderode (1780-1806), and with her brother Clemens Brentano (1778-1842).

Georgia (10 Lari, 1995), Akaki Tsereteli (1840-1915)

Tsereteli wrote hundreds of patriotic, historical, lyrical and satiric poems, also humoristic stories and autobiographic novel. He was actively involved in many educational, journalistic and theatrical activities.

Netherlands (5 Gulden, 1973), Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679)

Joost van den Vondel was a Dutch writer and playwright. He is considered the most prominent Dutch poet and playwright of the 17th century. His pieces are the ones from that period that are still most frequent on public display. Performance of his theatre pieces is regular. The most visible was the annual performance from 1637 to 1968 on New Year's day of Gijsbrecht van Aemstel.

Uruguay (20 Pesos Uruguayos, 2000), Juan Zorrilla de San Martin (1855-1931)

He was a Uruguayan epic poet. Two of his most famous poems are Tabare and La Leyenda Patria (The patriot legend). He also had a political role, and was uruguayan embassador in several periods. His house in Montevideo, is now a Museum. He left 13 children when  died. One of his sons, Jose Luis Zorrilla de San Martín was an important and well known sculptor, and the father of actress China Zorrilla. He is author of the Hymn to the Tree (Himno al Arbol) a well known Spanish poem later made a song in several latinamerican countries.

Czechoslovakia (50 Korun, 1987), Ludovit Stur (1815-1856)

He was the leader of the Slovak national revival in the 19th century, the author of the present-day Slovak language standard, an organizer of the Slovak volunteer campaigns during the 1848 Revolution in the Kingdom of Hungary, a member of the diet of the Kingdom of Hungary, politician, Slovak poet, journalist, publisher, teacher, philosopher and linguist.

Nicaragua (100 Cordobas, 2002), Ruben Dario (1867-1916)

Ruben Dario wrote his first poem, The Faith, when he was only twelve years old. His first verses appear in the newspaper "The thermometer" in 1879. In 1881, the fourteen years old Dario wrote articles for the political newspaper "The Truth". Between 1884 and 1888 Dario worked in the National Library as the private secretary of the president. He published many poems and stories, among them The Eruption of Momotombo, Emelina, and Blue.

Botswana (20 Pula, 2002), Kgalemang Tumedisco Motsete (1900-1974)

Motsete wrote and composed "Fatshe leno la rona" (Blessed Be This Noble Land). It was adopted as the national anthem of Botswana upon independence in 1966.

Estonia (25 Krooni, 2002), Anton Hansen Tammsaare (1878-1940)

Anton Hansen Tammsaare was born in Jarvamaa, son of a poor farmer. He studied law at the University of Tartu. He started to write in 1918. His five-volume novel True and Justice, published between 1926 and 1933, is considered one of the major works of Estonian literature.

Portugal (100 Escudos, 1988), Fernando Antonio Nogueira Pessoa (1888-1935)

The most celebrated Portuguese poet, who had a major role in the development of modernism in his country. Pessoa was a member of the Modernist group Orpheu; he was its greatest representative. Pessoa's use of "heteronyms", literary alter egos, who support and criticize each other's works was also unconventional. During his career as a writer Pessoa was virtually unknown and he published little of his vast body of work. Pessoa left behind some 25,000 unpublished text and fragments. From the 1940s, his poetry started to gain a wider audience in Portugal and later Brazil. Several of his collections have been published posthumously and translated in Spanish, French, English, German, Swedish, Finnish, and other languages.

Croatia (50 Kuna, 1993), Ivan Gundulic (1589-1638)

Gundulic was  Croatian Baroque poet. He served in various government positions as a captain of the night, supervisor of the armament magazine, member of the Senate, and judge. In his youth Gundulic wrote 10 plays, which were performed with musical accompaniment. His later works tended to be in the more solemn Baroque Catholic and spiritual style. His most famous work is the epic Osman, based on the defeat of Ottoman Sultan Osman II by the Poles at Chocim (now Ukraine) in Bessarabia in 1621.

Kyrgyzstan(20 Som,2002), Togolok Moldo (1860-1942)

His real name is Bayymbet Abdyrakhmanov was a Kyrgyz poetManaschiand folk song writer. Born in Ak-Talaa district, Naryn province (oblast). Togolok Moldo by his audiences - "togolok" means round-faced, "moldo" means an educated person.

Ukraine (20 Hryven, 2003), Ivan Franko (1856-1916)

A poet, writer, literary and social critic and a political activist, Ivan Franko was one of the most significant Ukrainian writers at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was a revolutionary democrat, and a founder of the socialist movement in Ukraine. His legacy illustrates the confrontation of ideologies and along with Taras Shevchenko, he had a huge impact on modern literary and political thought in Ukraine. In addition to his own literary work, he also translated the works of William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Dante, Victor Hugo, Goethe and Schiller into Ukrainian. He is best known for “Stolen Happiness” (1893), considered a dramatic masterpiece. In total, Franko wrote more than 1,000 works.

Ireland (10 Pounds, 1989), Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745)

Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satiristessayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. The foremost prose satirist in English language, Swift became insane in his last years, but until his death he was known as Dublin's foremost citizen. Swift's most famous works is Gulliver's Travels (1726), where the stories of Gulliver's experiences among dwarfs and giants are best known. He is also remembered for works A Modest ProposalA Journal to StellaDrapier's LettersThe Battle of the Books,An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub.

Poland (20 Zlotych, 2009), (Juliusz Słowacki (1809-1849)

Juliusz Slovacki was one of the foremost Polish romantic poets. He was a revolutionist, and he joined the Polish expatriates in Paris. Slowacki was extremely conscious of the great literary traditions, and his works show the influence of other authors. His poetic tragedies deal with the conflict of good and evil, particularly in Polish history, and are reminiscent of the works of Shakespeare. Slowacki's Balladina (1834) and Lilla Weneda (1839) were drawn from early legends. His Horsztynski (1840) is known as the Polish Hamlet. King Spirit (1847), a philosophic poem influenced by Dante's Divine Comedy, reveals his later mystical tendencies and exemplifies his stylistic virtuosity. His epic of manners Beniowski (1841) brought the Don Juan theme to Polish literature. Slowacki is considered the national bard. 
He died in Paris prematurely of tuberculosis.

Lithuania (500 Litu, 2000), Vincas Kudirka (1858-1899)

Vincas Kudirka was a Lithuanian poet and physician, and the author of both the music and lyrics of the Lithuanian National Anthem. He is regarded in Lithuania as a National Hero. Kudirka used pen names - V. Kapsas.
He began studying history and philosophy in Warsaw in 1881, but changed his major and began studying medicine the following year. During his studies, he was arrested as a subversive for having a copy of Das Kapital in his possession, and was expelled from the University of Warsaw, but later re-admitted. He graduated in 1889, and worked as a doctor.
Kudirka began writing poetry in 1888. Simultaneously he became more active in the Lithuanian national rebirth movement. Together with other Lithuanian students in Warsaw, he founded the secret society Lietuva ("Lithuania"). The following year the society began publishing the clandestine newspaper Varpas ("The Bell"), which Kudirka edited and contributed to for the next ten years. In issue number 6 of Varpas, in September 1898, he published the text of Tautiska Giesme, which would officially become in 1918, the Lithuanian National Anthem, set to music written by Kudirka himself for a violin. Kudirka gave much to Lithuanian culture, and also published a collection of Lithuanian popular songs. He was also a noted writer of satire. He died of tuberculosis on November 16, 1899, at age 40.

Armenia (1000 Dram, 1999),Yeghishe Charents (1897-1937)

Yeghishe Charents was an Armenian poet, writer and public activist. Charents was one of the most outstanding poets of the twentieth century, touching upon a multitude of topics that ranged from his experiences in the First World War, socialism, and, more prominently, on Armenia and Armenians. His works have fostered generations of patriotic Armenians and have been translated and read by peoples as diverse as the subjects on which he wrote. He is one of the leaders of the literary elite of the Soviet Union, his poetic dynamism and musical modality set him apart as one of the most inspired poets—not Armenian poet, but poet—of the twentieth century.  

Spain (200 pesetas 1980), Leopoldo Alas (1952-2001)

Spanish novelist, short-story writer, and literary critic who wrote under the pseudonym Clarín, b. Zamora. Although he began his literary career as a journalist, he later was a professor of law at the Univ. of Oviedo. He is best known for his naturalistic novel La Regenta  (1884–85), an analysis of provincial life. His other works include another novel, Su unico hijo [his only son] (1890), and several volumes of short stories.