Lagerlöf, Selma


Lagerlöf, Selma

▪ Swedish author
in full  Selma Ottiliana Lovisa Lagerlöf 
born Nov. 20, 1858, Mårbacka, Sweden
died March 16, 1940, Mårbacka
 novelist who in 1909 became the first woman and also the first Swedish writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

      An illness left her lame for a time, but otherwise her childhood was happy. She was taught at home, then trained in Stockholm as a teacher, and in 1885 went to Landskrona as schoolmistress. There she wrote her first novel, Gösta Berlings saga, 2 vol. (1891). A chronicle of life in the heyday of her native Värmland's history, the age of prosperous iron founders and small manors, the book recounts the story of the 12 Cavaliers, led by Gösta Berling, a renegade priest of weak character but irresistible charm. Written in a lyrical style, full of pathos, it showed the influence of Thomas Carlyle and played a part in the Swedish Romantic revival of the 1890s.

      In 1894 she published a collection of stories, Osynliga länkar (Invisible Links), and in 1895 she won a traveling scholarship, gave up teaching, and devoted herself to writing. After visiting Italy she published Antikrists mirakler (1897; The Miracles of Antichrist), a socialist novel about Sicily. Another collection, En herrgårdssägen (Tales of a Manor), is one of her finest works. A winter in Egypt and Palestine (1899–1900) inspired Jerusalem, 2 vol. (1901–02), which established her as the foremost Swedish novelist. Other notable works were Herr Arnes Penningar (1904), a tersely but powerfully told historical tale; and Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige, 2 vol. (1906–07; The Wonderful Adventures of Nils and Further Adventures of Nils), a geography reader for children.

      World War I disturbed her deeply, and for some years she wrote little. Then, in Mårbacka (1922), Ett barns memoarer (1930; Memories of My Childhood), and Dagbok för Selma Lagerlöf (1932; The Diary of Selma Lagerlöf ), she recalled her childhood with subtle artistry and also produced a Värmland trilogy: Löwensköldska ringen (1925; The Ring of the Löwenskölds), set in the 18th century; Charlotte Löwensköld (1925); and Anna Svärd (1928). She was deeply attached to the family manor house at Mårbacka, which had been sold after her father's death but which she bought back with her Nobel Prize money. Selma Lagerlöf ranks among the most naturally gifted of modern storytellers.

Additional Reading
Vivi Edström, Selma Lagerlöf (1984), introduces Lagerlöf's life and analyzes her work.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lagerlöf, Selma — (1858 1940)    A Swedish novelist, Lagerlof became world renowned and received the Nobel Prize in 1909. She had her literary debut at the time of the transition from the naturalism of the 1880s to the neoromanticism of the 1890s, Scandinavia s… …   Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater

  • Lagerlöf, Selma (Ottiliana Lovisa) — born Nov. 20, 1858, Mårbacka, Swed. died March 16, 1940, Mårbacka Swedish novelist. She was working as a schoolmistress when she wrote her first novel, Gösta Berlings saga (1891), a chronicle of life in her native Värmland. Later works include… …   Universalium

  • Lagerlöf, Selma (Ottiliana Lovisa) — (20 nov. 1858, Mårbacka, Suecia–16 mar. 1940, Mårbacka). Novelista sueca. Era maestra de escuela cuando escribió su primera novela, La saga de Gösta Berling (1891), crónica de la vida en su Värmland natal. Entre sus obras posteriores figuran… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Lagerlöf,Selma Ottiliana Lovisa — La·ger·löf (läʹgər ləv, lœf), Selma Ottiliana Lovisa. 1858 1940. Swedish writer whose novels include Gösta Berlings Saga (1891). In 1909 she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature. * * * …   Universalium

  • Selma Ottiliana Lovisa Lagerlöf — Selma Lagerlöf; Gemälde von Carl Larsson 1909  Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf?/i (* 20. November 1858 auf Gut Mårbacka in der heutige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Selma Lagerlöf — Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf Selma Lagerlöf en 1909 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Selma Lagerlof — Selma Lagerlöf Selma Lagerlöf Portrait de Selma Lagerlöf par Carl Larsson en 1906 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Selma Lagerlöf — Portrait de Selma Lagerlöf par Carl Larsson en 1906 Activités …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lagerlöf — Lagerlöf,   Selma Ottiliana Lovisa, schwedische Schriftstellerin, * Gut Mårbacka (Verwaltungsbezirk Värmland) 20. 11. 1858, ✝ ebenda 16. 3. 1940; Tochter eines Gutsbesitzers, war 1892 95 Lehrerin in Landskrona, reiste 1895/96 nach Italien,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lagerlöf — Lagerlöf, Selma, schwed. Schriftstellerin, geb. 20. Nov. 1858 auf dem alten, abgelegenen Gut Mårbacka in Wärmland, wo sie ihre Jugend verbrachte, bis sie mit 22 Jahren in Stockholm in ein Lehrerinnenseminar eintrat. 1885–95 war sie als Lehrerin… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


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