As a lyric poet Petofi naturally gave expression to present moods and feelings; as an epic poet Arany plunged into the past.
An only son, late born, seeing no companions of his own age, hearing nothing but the voices of his parents and the hymns and prayers in the little Calvinist chapel, Arany grew up a grave and gentle, but by no means an ignorant child.
His national romances, however, and especially Etelka (Pozsony, 1787) and Az arany pereczek (Pest and Pozsony, 1790), attracted public attention, and were soon adapted for the stage.
JANOS ARANY (1817-1882), the greatest poet of Hungary after Petofi, was born at Nagy-Szalonta on the 2nd of March 1817, the son of Gyorgy Arany and Sara Megyeri; his people were small Calvinist yeomen of noble origin, whose property consisted of a rush-thatched cottage and a tiny plot of land.
Magyar history is indebted to Paul Jaszay for his careful working out of certain special periods, as, for instance, in his A Magyar nemzet napjai a legregibb idOtOl az arany bullaig (Days of the Hungarian nation from the earliest times to the date of the Golden Bull).
When the Hungarian Academy opened its doors again after a ten years' cessation, Arany was elected a member (15th of December 1858).