Kölcsey, Ferenc fĕ´rĕnts köl´chĕĭ [key], 1790–1838, Hungarian writer and orator. A student of the Enlightenment, he aided his friend Krasiński in a reform of the Hungarian language, investigated Hungarian literary history, and introduced the critical essay. As a member of parliament (1832–36), he spoke eloquently to urge freedom for the serfs. His prose and poetry are somber and elaborately classical in style; they reveal a strong moral sense. Kölcsey wrote the Hungarian national hymn (1823).
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