LEWENTAL, FRANCIS DE SALES (SOLOMON):
Polish publisher; born at Wloclawek, Russian Poland, 1839; died at Wiesbaden Sept. 24, 1902. In 1862 Lewental, the son of poor Jewish parents, bought with his accumulated savings the press of the Warsaw publisher John Glücksberg (d. 1859), and began his career with the "Kalendarz Ludowy," a popular almanac, which he continued until 1866. In 1865, in conjunction with others, he founded "Klosy," an illustrated weekly, which in the next year became his exclusive property. Under Lewental's management and under the editorship of Adam Plug "Klosy" became the most widely circulated illustrated weekly in Poland, and contributed in no small measure to the popularizing of Polish art and to the development of Polish woodengraving.In 1871 Lewental bought the "Kolko Domowe," a home magazine, and transformed it into the popular "Tygodnik Romansow i Powiesci" (discontinued in 1900). Lewental was the proprietor also of the "Swit," edited for a few years by Mary Konopnicka. In 1871, also, he issued an edition of the works of Korzeniowski, which proved so popular that it led later to similar editions of the works of Kraszewski, Kremer, Rzewuski, Skarbek, Fredro, Syrokomla, Eliza Orzeszko, Kaczkowski, Balucki, etc.
In 1874 Lewental commenced the publication of the best productions of European literature under the title "Biblioteka Najcelniejszych Utworow Literatury Europejskiej." They were edited with the greatest care by Peter Chmielowski and, after him, by Stanislaus Krzeminski. The "John Matejko Album" and many other well-known works were issued from his press. In 1887 Lewental became one of the proprietors of the "Kuryer Warszawski." Though he avoided politics he did not succeed in escaping a conflict with the Russian government; he was arrested in 1900, was compelled to discontinue all his publications, and was sentenced to deportation for three years to Odessa. After a year there he obtained a passport for foreign travel. Lewental enjoyed the friendship of many literati, among them being J. I. Kraszewski, for whose release from imprisonment at Magdeburg he offered to furnish the bail required by the Prussian government.