On its initial publication in Czech in 1942, Saturnin was a best-seller. It draws on a tradition of Czech comedy and authors such as J. Hašek, K. Čapek and K. Poláček, it was also clearly influenced by the English masters Jerome K. Jerome and P. G. Wodehouse. Saturnin is the story of a young man in love and his subversive servant Saturnin, who upsets the peaceful rhythm of his master’s domestic arrangements and turns his life inside out. He lures him into an exotic world where he is forced to live dangerously, and shows him how to cope with any situation. Written at a time when Czechoslovakia was deep in the grip of the Nazi occupation, Saturnin showed that one form of resistance was to put the world created by invasion out of your mind and create another. However, so recognisably Czech was that ‘other’ that its popularity did not diminish with the end of the war or, indeed, with the end of the forty years of communism that followed shortly after the war’s end. The book has been adapted for radio and television, produced as a film and has a regular place in the repertoire of the Czech stage. Winner of the 2009 Czech TV survey Book of My Heart, an all-time favourite by Czech readers.