The genius of Slovenia, France Prešeren (1800 – 1849), was a 19th-century Romantic poet whose poems have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Slovak, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Bengali, as well as to all the languages of former Yugoslavia, and in 2013 a complete collection of his "Poezije" (Poetry) was translated into French.
He has been generally acknowledged as the greatest Slovene classical poet and has inspired virtually all later Slovene literature. He wrote high quality epic poetry, for example the first Slovene ballad and the first Slovene epic. After his death, he became the leading name of the Slovene literary canon. He tied together the motifs of his own unhappy love with that of an unhappy, subjugated homeland. Especially after World War II in the Slovene Lands, one of Prešeren's motifs, the "hostile fortune", has been adopted by Slovenes as a national myth, and Prešeren has been described being as ubiquitous as the air in Slovene culture.
During his lifetime, Prešeren lived in conflict with both the civil and religious establishment, as well as with the provincial bourgeoisie of Ljubljana. His lyric poetry dealt with the love towards his homeland, the suffering humanity, as well as his unfulfilled love towards his muse, Julija Primic.