The place is situated within the Russian partition, in the village of Soplicowo, the country estate of the Soplica clan. Pan Tadeusz recounts the story of two feuding noble families, and the love between Tadeusz Soplica (the title character) of one family, and Zosia of the other. A subplot involves a spontaneous revolt of the local inhabitants against the occupying Russian garrison. Mickiewicz, an exile in Paris and thus beyond the reach of Russian censorship, wrote openly about the occupation.
This is the version of Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz that I enjoy reading the most because it includes both the original Polish version and the English translation.
The story takes place over the course of five days in 1811 and two days in 1812, at a time in history when Poland had been divided between the armies of Russia, Prussia, and Austria and erased from the political map of Europe, although in 1807 Napoleon had established a satellite Duchy of Warsaw in the Prussian partition which remained in existence until the Congress of Vienna held after Napoleon's defeat.
The Polish national poem begins with the words "O Lithuania"; this largely stems from the fact that the 19th-century concept of nationality had not yet been geopoliticized. The term "Lithuania" used by Mickiewicz refers to a geographical region of Grand Duchy of Lithuania within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.