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En omskriven historia: Svensk historisk roman och novell före 1867 : the Swedish historical novel and short story before 1867
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The historical novel was a new genre in Sweden during the 1820's. It had emerged as a popular literary form in Europe with the writings of Walter Scott, whose Waverley, or t'is sixty years since (1814) is widely regarded as the first historical novel. Historical novels were popular in Sweden in the first half of the nineteenth century, and in their books the authors could have their say about what was important in Swedish history. Contemporary academic history was seen as too concerned with men, wars and kings, while the authors preferred touching upon subjects where women, family life, customs, and middle class individuals were more central.

In the nation-building process of the nineteenth century, liberal groups rewrote history in their stories about the past. Aristocracy, Catholics, immorality, luxury, and foreigners (with the exception of Danes) were seen as threats to the modern Swedish identity. Conservative writers presented another history in their stories, where a less polemical view on these matters was prominent; they tend to be more critical towards greed and open political debate. The period from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century is the most central in the Swedish historical novels, especially those written by liberal authors. Conservative writers focus more on medieval times, but the Viking Age is largely ignored.

At the end of the period studied here, just after the middle of the nineteenth century, more than four out of five historical novels were written by women, something that makes Sweden different from other countries. Wilhelmina Stålberg and Ulrika von Strussenfelt are two of the most productive writers of this period. They are both largely forgotten today, as are their male colleagues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 226 p.
Studia historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 193
Keyword [en]
History, Historical novels, historiography, Swedish history, nineteenth century, nation-building, middle class, identity
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-489ISBN: 91-554-4776-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-489DiVA: diva2:165975
Public defence
2000-09-29, Sal X, universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-09-08 Created: 2000-09-08 Last updated: 2011-11-04Bibliographically approved

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