The popularity decline of our late president Havel during his tenures WAS NOT because of his second spouse as your comment suggests. It was over-exposed by the media in this way as a controversial step. And of course people in pubs who like to slag off somebody and know nothing better to do with their brains will tell you that. The flawed gossiping dregs of society that can be quite loud in Czech Republic as anywhere else for that matter.
But why should it matter who you marry? Indeed how should it cast a shadow on your presidency? (His 2nd wife is a film/theatre actress Dagmar Veskrnova and I personally have no problem with him marrying her. Nor does anyone who I know. It is his choice. She is blameless. Or should he better marry his friend Dalai Lama?:))
All in all it was NOT the reason why Vaclav Havels popularity was declining in the Czech Republic.
Before 1989 he was an author/poet, playwright, thinker and activist seeking dialogue with the communist power(look for his famous letter he sent to the former communist president Husak in the 70´s where he explains to him how the communist rule twisted Czechoslowak people´s minds-an issue we still deal with today), he had a vision of a society different from the apathetic inert communist one: active citizens and politicians with conscience, rule of law, strong ethics within the society. He said famously when first sworn in: "I hope you did not make me a president and expect me to lie to you".
He was perheps too honest which is generaly not expected from a politician. He was not a real-politik politician, he was more driven by ideals and ethics. More like a ancient Greek politician out of place in the mucky reality of the wild early 90s.
Havel put his heart and high hopes into the presidency, his whole personality in fact. His presidential motto was: "Truth and love will beat lies and hatered".
But as you know a society can not be transformed by one person with good intentions overnight. The wild years of societal and economic transformation after 1989(which still goes on!) saw pushy people and crooks getting richer and powerful at the expense of the rest. The crooks went mainly unpunished. Those with some ethical grounding were angry silent observers.
When Havel rose the expectations for the new society so high and then no major makeover with the morals and virtues within the society happened people grew bitter and blamed whom? Of course him. As if one person guarantees for the whole society. It is a classic example of scapegoating.
He made some unpopular steps though like the general amnesty for all sorts of prisoners when first sworn in. It was and still is criticised by some much more then for his second marriage which is a minor sideshow now really and in fact no ones bussines.
History will judge him all right. He wrote some great comments on the rotten moral core of the communist soicety and the post 89 as well.
Vaclav Havel, born 1936 died this morning 18 December 2011 in his sleep after a protracted battle with illness at his weekend house surrounded by his family. Rest in Peace Vaclav Havel and many thanks!
Just a note to Paul Wilson who co-authored this book. An interesting guy: A Canadian musician who lived in Czechoslowakia between 1967 and 1977 and who kept close contacts with the anti communist dissent itelectual/musical scene and was a guest singer in the regime prohibitted Czech underground band "The Plastic People of the Universe" (look at Wiki for more on the band in English). When the band was put o trial for playing "obscene forbidden music", Wilson was expelled from Czechoslowakia. When back in Canada he set up a music label and published the albums of the band that could not be otherwise published in CZ. He also translated novels and political writing by then outlawed Czech authors like Hrabal, Skvorecky or Havel.