• Bogdan Teodorescu -


intellectual history, 19th century Romanian elite, biography, Parisian experience of Iulia Hasdeu, Sorbonne


Iulia Lilica Hasdeu was the daughter of B.P Hasdeu, historian, philologist, folklorist and writer. The correspondence reveal us her last seven years spent in Paris (1881-1888), the history of a brilliant child gifted with a will for reaching the highest academicals expectations which cannot be defeated. Finally, her career project should have given her the opportunity for getting her high school degree, bachelor's degree and PhD until the age of 20. For reaching her ideal, Iulia Hasdeu had ended up in Paris, the capital of the world in that period of time, known for the best superior schools. At the end of XIX century, the city was sprawling fast, people who were attracted by Paris’ lights were arriving constantly looking for jobs. Buildings with small rooms were erected quickly and they were deprived of air and light. In such places our hero had to live along with her mother. From what we believe, there is a very strong possibility that this is the place where she came in contact with the fatal disease for her: tuberculosis.

Last but not least, she had to deal with the conflict between her parents. The father, who remained in Bucharest, struggled to deal with all the financial requests which were arriving from Paris. They will accomplish their purpose, because Lilica was a sensitive girl and her life work never left her indifferent. What we know for sure is that at the age of 18 she managed to finish the high school with two diplomas. Soon after, she had signed up for the Faculty of Letters, at Sorbona. In her first year there (1886-1887), she managed to draw the attention of her colleagues and teachers. Her disease had brought her an end in the autumn of 1888. Fallen before her time, despite the few things she had left behind, she still is and always will be an opener of ways.