Reading List

The following is a list of English-language books and articles related to the history of Galicia and Lviv. These resources have helped me understand the complex and fascinating history of the region and have assisted me with research for my blog posts. I’ve included books from different genres and perspectives, as well as novels and memoirs by famous authors who hailed from Galicia.


Austrian Galician & Habsburg History

Lviv / Lwów



A Broader Look

Immigration & Diaspora

Guide Books

  • Awesome Lviv With references to major historical events, famous and talented residents, art, culture, sports, literature, traditions and even beloved street food.


Family Histories/Genealogy


Travels in the Western Caucasus: Including a Tour Through Imeritia, Mingrelia, Turkey, Moldavia, Galicia, Silesia, and Moravia, in 1836, Volume II Edmund Spencer, 1838
Captain Edmund Spencer was an English travel writer and nobleman. In his Travels in the Western Caucasus he devotes several chapters to his experiences in Galicia. (pp. 266-309)

A Girl in the Karpathians Ménie Muriel Dowie, 1891
Ménie Muriel Dowie was a British writer who spent her early twenties traveling. Her best-known tour, in the summer of 1890, was through the Carpathian Mountains (East Galicia), where she traveled alone and on horseback. Her travelogue, A Girl in the Karpathians, was published the following year, and she lectured to packed audiences.

Polish Countrysides Louise Arner Boyd. New York: American Geographical Society. 1937.
Louise Arner Boyd (1887-1972) was an American explorer. In August 1934, Louise set out on a three-month journey across the countryside of Poland photographing and recording the customs, dress, economy and culture of the many ethnic Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Lithuanians. The journey, by car, rail, boat and on foot took her first from Lviv to Kovel, through Belarus, and finally to Vilnius. Her travel narrative was supplemented with over 500 photographs and published by the American Geographical Society in 1937 as Polish Countrysides (from Wikipedia).

Memoirs/First-Hand Accounts

Famous authors from Galicia whose childhood experiences were reflected in their future literary work.

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch – Austrian nobleman, writer and journalist, who gained renown for his romantic stories of Galician life, born in Lviv, 1836

Ivan Franko – Ukrainian poet, writer, political activist, born in Nahuyevychi, 1856

Shmuel Yosef Agnon – Nobel Prize laureate writer of modern Hebrew fiction, born in Buchach, 1888

Bruno Shulz – Polish Jewish writer, born in Drohobych 1892

Joseph Roth – Austrian-Jewish journalist and novelist, born in Brody, 1894

  • The Radetzky March A saga about the decline and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (blog post from Europe Between East And West)
  • The Hotel Years 62 feuilletons: on hotels; pains and pleasures; personalities; and the deteriorating international situation of the 1930s. Includes story about Galicia.
  • Job The story of an orthodox Jew whose faith is weakened when he moves from Tsarist Russia to New York City
  • The Wandering Jews A fragmented account of the Jewish migrations from eastern to western Europe in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution

Jozef Wittlin – Polish novelist, poet and translator, born in Dmytrów, studied in Lviv, 1896

  • City of Lions About Lviv
  • The Salt of the Earth “The book is a tale of a ‘patient infantryman,’ an illiterate Polish peasant who is unwillingly drafted into the Austrian army to fight a war he does not understand.”

Stanisław Lem – Renowned Polish novelist and satirist, born in Lviv, 1921

Historical Fiction

Source of image: Culturefly
  • Tango of Death Yuri Vynnychuk, translated by Michael M. Naydan and Olha Tytarenko (prewar Lviv)
  • Mrs Mohr Goes Missing Maryla Szymiczkowa (Agatha Christie-style mystery series set in fin de siècle Krakow)
  • Karolina and the Torn Curtain Maryla Szymiczkowa (Agatha Christie-style mystery series set in fin de siècle Krakow)
  • The House with the Stained-Glass Window Zanna Sloniowska, translated by Antonia Lloyd Jones (Amid the turbulence of 20th century Lviv, meet four generations of women from the same fractious family, living beneath one roof and each striving to find their way across the decades of upheaval in an ever-shifting city.)
  • The Kindly Ones Jonathan Littel (fictionalized memoir of a remorseless former Nazi SS officer, partly set in Lviv)

Articles and Essays