The collection and publication of letters by Lesja Ukrainka was start at 1911, when (still alive Lesja Ukrainka) M. Pavlyk published in the edition "Correspondence Michael Dragomanov with Michael Pavlyk", t. 8 (Chernivtsi, 1911, pp. 212, 221 – 222 237 – 238) three letters by Lesja Ukrainka.
After the Lesja Ukrainka's death, her letters by little portions appeared in various publications.
Numerous letters by Lesja Ukrainka were stored private archives. Dozens of letters as family heirlooms preserved relatives by O. Kobyljanska in Chernivtsi, professor F. Kolessa kept the poetess' letters to him. There was information that about 100 sheets stored by the academician A. Krymsky.
A considerable number of Lesja Ukrainka's letters collected her sister Olga Kosach-Kryvynjuk. She collected not only autographs, but also copies of letters from foreign archives. Olga Kosach-Kryvynjuk in 1930th prepared on the basis of letters biographical work "Chronology of life and work of Lesja Ukrainka". In the O. Kosach-Kryvynjuk's collection preserved copies of letters by Lesja Ukrainka to M.P.Dragomanov and his family, made from copies of the writer Gleb Lazarevsky (he made copies from the Lesja Ukrainka's autographs, which were kept in Warsaw). Now more than 50 copies of letters to M.P.Dragomanov and his family deposited in the department of manuscripts of the Shevchenko Institute of literature (F. 2, ¹ 1548). Renowned scholar of Lesja Ukrainka's life and works M.D. Derkach kept copies of 28 letters (1888 – 1894) to M. Dragomanov (F. 2, ¹ 1220 – 1227).
Along with copies of O.P.Kosach-Kryvynjuk and M.D.Derkach in 1939 were collected 230 letters, only 30 from which were published.
Please be aware that epistolary heritage of Lesja Ukrainka undergone major irreparable losses. Completely missing letters to Sergei Merzhynsky, already in 1920th was knew about the loss of letters to Ludmila Starytska (Chernyakhivska) (known in fragments only 3 letters, published in 1913), from about 100 letters stored in the academician A. Krymsky published only 10 (the rest should guess, was loss); also have only 10 letters and postcards to Clement Kvitka, they were certainly much higher. These losses are all the more regrettable that the their addressee's was the closest, most sincere friends and like-minded of poetess, and they certainly contain the some information, which was not shared with anyone more.
Today epistolary legacy of Lesja Ukrainka is about 900 letters, and the possibility of discovering them is far from exhausted.
The presented epistolary heritage of Lesja Ukrainka – a letters to the people who were closest family (mother, father, brothers, sisters, family of M.P.Dragomanov, Aunt Helen Antonovna Teslenko-Prykhodko) and literary environment (Ivan Franko, M. I. Pavlik, O. Kobyljanska, V.S. Stefanyk, N. Kybalchych, O.S. Makovej, M.M.Kotsjubynsky, B.D.Grinchenko, X. O. Alchevska, M.P. Staritsky, V.M. Gnatjuk, F. M. Kolessa, A. Krymsky and other; Russian writers and critics – V.A. Posse, E.M. Chirikov; public figures – V.G. Kryzhanivska-Tuchapska, teacher public schools A. Makarova, ethnographic and library committee Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv, many other individuals and institutions).
We know more than forty Lesja Ukrainka's recipients, letters to which collected partially. Yes, from correspondence with M. M. Kotsjubynsky found only 3 letters, have been much more letters to Aunt O.A.Teslenko-Prykhodko (stayed in Siberia exile). Lesja Ukrainka actively corresponded with the editor of the Russian progressive magazine "Life" V.A. Posse, with critic P.M. Ge.
It is known that Lesja Ukrainka corresponded with Social Democrat P.L. Tuchapsky, with fellow of children and youth years, Mary Bykovska (Belyaeva), with a high school teacher Sergei Frenkel. Lesja Ukrainka wrote letters to Russian Theatrical Society in Moscow, to the editors of the journals "Vestnik Evropy", "Mir Bozhyj", "Russkaja Mysl". After closing the magazine "Life" she sent articles to these magazines. Not only letters, but some articles sent to them are still not found. Wider, of course, was and correspondence with M. F. Komarov and his daughters, Lesja Ukrainka's girlfriends Galina and Margarita. Probably forever lost much of letters to his brother Michael and his wife O.E. Sudovschykova (writer Grytsko Grigorenko). It seems must be the Lesja Ukrainka's letters to Russian writer G. Machtet, to Austrian progressive writer Maria Eugenia Della-Grace.
Over the past decades, researchers made a lot of publications of Lesja Ukrainka's letters with scientific comments, explanations, notes. These publications prepared after autographs, centered in the department of manuscripts of the Shevchenko Institute of Literature in funds of Lesja Ukrainka (F. 2), I.Franko (f. 3), O.Kobyljanska (f. 14), M. Pavlyk (f. 101).
Lesja Ukrainka's letters is a valuable source for the study of biographies, art, literary and aesthetic and political views, to highlight the writer's participation in the revolutionary-liberation movement. Her letters – a source for the study of advanced social and political thought in Ukraine.
As noted, researchers immeasurably profound set to poetess' image, the numerous literary and civic events referred to in the letters in the study and publication of bilateral correspondence. Unfortunately, letters to of Lesja Ukrainka are almost lost. While under surveillance by secret police, Lesja Ukrainka remembered all the time – in case of her arrest the letters of friends to her will be accusations against her comrades. After her release from detention in 1907 in Lesja Ukrainka write to mother, that she (Lesja) prefer not to store letters to her. This statement of Lesja Ukrainka gives reason to believe that she never kept the letters addressed to her.
Texts of letters submitted by the modern spelling of the maximum preservation of lexical and morphological features of the original. Lesja Ukrainka sometimes denoted paragraphs with a hyphen. We denote them with contemporary facilities.
All reductions are disclosed in brackets. Unread words, the damaged areas of autographs indicated in brackets with ellipsis.
Titles of works, journals, and citations of works that Lesja Ukrainka gives sometime in quotation marks, and sometime without quotation marks, are quotated in accordance with modern spelling rules. Author's highlights marked with bold font.
All dates in accurate transcription placed where they put in the letter. Typically, Lesja Ukrainka put the date at the top of the message at the right top side. Only in some cases the date is in the middle or the left and very rare – at the end of the letter. Many letters are not dated at all. In cases where the letters are not dated, date established on analysis of various facts and contents of the letter. Each letter have at the top of the text editorial date (day, month, year) and the place of sender. All editorial date given for a new style. The compilers warn about possible errors, as Lesja Ukrainka dated their letters and the old and new style, sometimes give a double dating (eg: 11 – 23.02.1895), sometime not indicated the date, by which a series of dates specified within season or month.
In the preparation of this web publication editorial dates placed at the top left, before the text message. The original date, if any, are always placed right before the text message. The hint will remind on this when you hover the mouse over the element.
Translations of foreign words are given in tooltips.
Explanation and clarification of various made by Lesja Ukrainka herself, introduced in the text [like this].
Appear in the text message deleted words are not restored, the obvious errors and character omissions corrected without reservations.
Notes to each letter containing the following information: date and place of publication of a letter; the source is used in this edition (prints, autographs, autograph copy), place and fund store autograph, dating justification (as necessary). Commented places and expressions that may cause ambiguity in the reader (shown in most of the quotes used in the letters; provided brief information on individuals mentioned, the content of the events in question, accurate bibliographic information of works that are mentioned frequently in letters descriptive and insufficiently precise). On the end notes to individual letters submitted (or stated) postscripts, if any, others made after the Lesja Ukrainka's text.
When commenting letters and preparing notes compilers used as experience and facts gathered by the authors of previous publications – M.S. Grudnytska, M.D. Derkach, V.S. Kurashova, A. J. Ryappo and others.