The last decade of 20th century found Serbia in the most critical of
situations. The country was under heavy economic sanctions and we suffered military and political aggression from NATO.

But what really hurt us as a people was not the bad economy, bad living conditions, or the bombs falling on our heads. We were deeply hurt because everyone was made to think about us Serbs as soulless bastards, killers - the worst nation in the world - and made to blame us for every evil thing that happened in ex-Yugoslavia.

In the middle of that chaos I met an American friend, Barbara Zelwer.
I was surprised how much understanding and compassion for us she had. It was not just an understanding for our situation, she really understood our point of view. Meeting an American who liked Serbs at that time was a rare and really pleasurable experience.

One day, Barbara mentioned the she owns a book about Marko Kralyevic, the Serbian hero. As she said, the book belonged to her father and is kept in her home as something of special value. The book was 'MARKO, THE KING'S SON by Clarence A. Manning.

At first, I was a bit skeptical about an American story book, written by an American about our medieval hero. I thought not just the language
barrier but also the cultural barriers were so strong that no one could cross them. There have been a few unsuccessful attempts, including translations done by Goethe, to support my opinion. Then I got the book in my hands and changed my mind.

Clarence A. Manning broke all the barriers between Serbian and Western culture and language. He wisely concluded that stories he heard in their original, poetic form could not be translated into poetry. He decided to tell them in prose, in his own words. But, what is most important, he managed to keep the essence - the spirit of the poems about Marko Kralyevic and spirit of the time when they were created. He not only managed to present them, he give deeper meaning and value to those stories. In reading this book, I found some new perspectives to the legend of Marko Kralyevic.

And that is why I decided to prepare this book in WEB form: to make it
accessible to anyone interested, especial those who hold negative opinions of us because they do not yet understand us.

This book speaks about the time when Serbia, cut off from rest of the Christian world and under the heavy pressure of the Turkish Empire, began to decline. It was the beginning of a great struggle against misery and extermination as a people. That was the time when many Orthodox Christian Serbs had to take on the Moslem religion in order to survive. Their descendants are today's Moslems in Bosnia. That was also the time when Schiptars (now called Albanians), a small tribe that lived in mountainous area of present-day Albania, were encouraged by
the Turks to become very hostile towards the Serbs (and not only Serbs), and to start to drive them from the territory which is present-day Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo. This process has never really stopped and today is official policy sanctioned and supported by NATO and the United Nations.

I hope this will help explain why Serbs are so restive when their culture and territory are questioned, threatened and attacked.

I want to thank Barbara for the opportunity she gave me..

Predrag SupuroviŠ     

Note about copyright. This book was published in 1932. According to American law it could be protected by author's rights. However, Barbara and I made every effort to find any mention of a possible present owner of those rights and failed. We could not even find anything about the author himself. Therefore, I decided to put this on the WEB. If anyone can point me out to any information about this book or its author, please do so. I personally would like to learn more about Clarence A. Manning.

Also, Barbara's copy of the book lost its cover a long time ago. She says she read the book so many times that the paper just fell apart. If anyone owns the same book with covers intact, please contact us.


Search on Internet did not show up much about book authors. I will try to collect as much information as I can and I hope you will help.

Wikpedia on Marko Kraljevic

Thru the Forgotten Door: Into Alexander Key's Magical Worlds
Fan site about Alexander Key, who illustrated this book

University of Southern Mississippi de Grummond Collection ALEXANDER KEY PAPERS
Note about Alexander Key

The Bulletin of of the Center for Children's Books: Alexander Key
Note about Alexander Key

Other Links

Books Country - A Valuable Book Information Resource and Directory




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