Dear friends and fellow admirers of heroes in distress,
I am happy to introduce to you my version of the story of the brigand and highwayman Juro Janosik. In Poland and in Slovakia (both central-European countries) he is a hero-figure from history, who is still regarded as a legendary character.
Juro (English: George) Janosik was born in 1688. He lived in an area belonging to North-Slovakia, the Tatra mountains, then a part of the Habsburg Austrian-Hungarian Empire. During his short life, he was part of an insurgency against the Austrian Empire, then was a soldier in the Austrian army, and finally became a highwayman. He was captured in 1713, put on trial, sentenced to death and executed that same year. The manner of his execution was gruesome: a hook was pierced through his left side, and he was left hanging by his rib on a gallows until he died.
In Polish and Slovak popular legend, Juro Janosik became a hero figure like Robin Hood or the Swiss Wilhelm Tell. He was said to have stolen only from the rich, in order to help the poor. Also his conduct as a higwayman was chivalrous. According to the stories about him, he was a tall, handsome and particularly strong young man, who was able to inspire his followers with ideals of justice and freedom. As such, he remains a source of inspiration to Polish and Slovak (popular) art, literature and film until today.
Some of the legends about him appear to be based in historical fact, as research has shown. My version of the story concentrates on the way Juro Janosik was captured, put on trial and punished. My story is a fantasy, of course, but I have remained close to history, albeit that my ending differs from historical fact.
During the writing process I have imagined Henry Cavill as the model for my Juro Janosik: as he was in his role as Superman.
I hope you enjoy my story, and look forward to your comments, if you care to post them.
For those interested: