Polish contemporary literature is not a closed book to European and world readers. Those not involved professionally in the production or study of literature may well have heard of Stanislaw Lem, Witold Gombrowicz, Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska or the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018, Olga Tokarczuk. The situation is different with Polish literature of earlier periods, including the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novel. The works of Ignacy Krasicki, Michal Czajkowski, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Eliza Orzeszkowa, Maria Komornicka, Stefan Zeromski and Boleslaw Prus - the exception perhaps is Henryk Sienkiewicz, whose novels were translated into many languages - did not enter European circulation on any large scale and have rarely been included in comparative studies. Our book attempts to change this perspective and poses the question as to whether another - expanded and more inclusive - literary canon is possible.