A SILVA RERUM – or Latin for “forest of things”– was a family chronicle filled in by each passing generation, popular in 17th-18th century Lithuania and Poland. So why did Jan Maciej Narwoysz feel fear each time he opened his family silva and took the quill in his hand?
Interlaced with actual historical events and characters, SILVA RERUM is set in 17th century Samogitia and Vilnius and narrates the fate of the Narwoysz family, a gripping story of fatal love, deeply rooted superstitions, freedom of will and what it takes to look in the eye of the Vilnius Basilisk – the legendary creature with a lethal glance.
Awards: Book of the Year 2009, Jurga Ivanauskaite Award 2009
18 editions, ISBN : 978-9955-23-200-1, ISBN: 978-9955-23-225-4
SILVA RERUM II is the account of years 1707-1710. The Great Northern War, the Great Plague, the Great Famine, the lavish luxury and the deadly hunger, the Swedish and Russian soldiers, the Jewish doctors, the Dutch cardsharps, the Turkish concubines, the French ladies-in-waiting, the stubborn Samogitians and the ironic Vilniusites; the anonymous monk, who has buried more than twenty thousand plague victims and, of course, the next generation of the Narwoysz family.
A "memory puzzle", it will reveal the fates of the previous Narwoysz generation, though some of them are such that the hand which is to write them down into a silva rerum - a family chronicle filled in by each passing generation - starts to tremble... Was this the plan of the Omnipotent Lord? Or was it just the omnipotence of a blind accident?
Awards: Book of the Year 2011
12 editions, ISBN: 978-9955-23-425-8
SILVA RERUM III continues the Narwoysz family saga – the reader travels to the mid-18th century, when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania experiences the period of prosperity and peace but is threatened by something more dangerous than the plague or the war: intrigues, corruption and internal disintegration. It is a tale of the decadent Rococo period, sometimes described as the "twilight before the Enlightement" and the unusual fates of historical characters transcend the limits of imagination. Piotr Antoni Narwoysz of Milkonty, the grandson of Casimir and son of Jan Izydor, believes solely in facts and numbers, enjoys wealth and influence, but he becomes entangled in a Radziwill family drama as a confidant. Will his common sense help when the events go out of control and the main figures, fascinated by alchemy and Kabbalah seek to escape the reality and transgress the boundaries into the darkness of passions and the metaphysical obscurity? The novel is based on true events and biographies; it is a tale of the familial heredity, Vilnius and Nieswiez, reality and subconsciousness, judaism and libertinism, architecture, theatre, the element of fire and the origins of the legend of Ger-Tzedek, the Righteous Proselyte of Vilna.
Awards: 2015 Liudas Dovydenas Award
7 editions, ISBN 978-9955-23-752-5
SILVA RERUM IV finishes the great Vilnius saga. This is an account about the last decades of the 18th century - the times of political, economical and cultural changes, the cusp of the Baroque and the Enlightenment when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania experiences the political decadence and at the same time - the surge of the progressive ideas. Its nobility is divided into two irreconcillable parts - those adamant to keep the old ways and those who believe in the new, better order which they are keen to prove by their choices that destroy the boundaries of the class.
The professor of Mathematics, the jesuit Franciszek Ksawery Narwoysz, a freemason and a philosopher, is not just a citizen of t of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania but also of the world. Nancy, Vienna, Krakow, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Paris and London are the destinations of his travels where he meets the sovereigns of Europe, the world renowned scientists and the intelectual women, observes the miracles of music and theatre that transform the arts, experiences the forbidden love and brings back to Vilnius the most progressive scientific ideas and trends of the Enlightenment.
But what disturbs his soul, why is he doubtful when he looks into the black starry sky above Vilnius, what reminiscences make his heart to skip a beat and why he is convinced that a long time ago proclaimed dead Vilnius Basilisk which feeds on fanatism, darkness of mind and impurities of conscience, has ressurected and adapted to the spirit of the new times?
4 editions, ISBN 978-9955-23-939-0