August Šenoa is one of Croatian most famous and most influential writers. His significance is evident in the very fact that the period from 1865 to 1881, which was the time of his active writing, is in Croatian called “Šenoino doba“(“the Šenoa era“, t/n).
Šenoa was a Croatian writer, playwright, translator and critic. His literary activity is quite broad. It covers poems, novels, novellas, feuilletons, translations, and critical and theoretical texts. He presented the historical novel to the Croatian public as a literary species. Historical novels soon became famous literary works. His first and most famous historical novel is The Goldsmith's Gold. The novel was published in 1871. When writing historical novels, he followed W. Scott's model, which means that he researched historical sources and used authentic documents to show how the arrangement of political forces and social circumstances affected the lives of "little people". Historical circumstances were an essential part of the story, not just its framework. His historical novels also contain a moral-educational component. In The Goldsmith's Gold, the story is set in the 16th century and takes place around the clash of Zagreb and the nobleman Stjepko Gregorijanac (as the first parallel story) and the forbidden love story between nobleman and a citizen girl (as a second parallel story). Another famous historical novel he wrote is The Pirates of Senj. The core of this novel is the conflict between Venetian and the Uskoks of Senj from the early 17th century. Šenoa is also the author of novels with a theme in contemporary life: The Young Gentleman, The Beggar Luka, Vladimir, Branka, and the novellas with the same subject, of which Prijan Lovro and Carnation From The Poet's Grave are probably the most famous. In the feuilleton Zagrebulje, he satirically, ironically, but also humorously commented on the current problems of Zagreb's everyday life. The drama Ljubica is the most famous piece of civic drama in Croatian literature.
Šenoa's work is a huge treasure that still educates new generations of students and writers alike.