1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, Thomasine Christine, Baroness

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 12
Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, Thomasine Christine, Baroness
7066421911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 12 — Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, Thomasine Christine, Baroness

GYLLEMBOURG-EHRENSVÄRD, THOMASINE CHRISTINE, Baroness (1773–1856), Danish author, was born on the 9th of November 1773, at Copenhagen. Her maiden name was Buntzen. Her great beauty early attracted notice, and before she was seventeen she married the famous writer Peter Andreas Heiberg. To him she bore in the following year a son, afterwards illustrious as the poet and critic Johan Ludvig Heiberg. In 1800 her husband was exiled, and she obtained a divorce, marrying in December 1801 the Swedish Baron K. F. Ehrensvärd, himself a political fugitive. Her second husband, who presently adopted the name of Gyllembourg, died in 1815. In 1822 she followed her son to Kiel, where he was appointed professor, and in 1825 she returned with him to Copenhagen. In 1827 she first appeared as an author by publishing her romance of The Polonius Family in her son’s newspaper Flyvende Post. In 1828 the same journal contained The Magic Ring, which was immediately followed by En Hverdags historie (An Everyday Story). The success of this anonymous work was so great that the author adopted until the end of her career the name of “The Author of An Everyday Story.” In 1833–1834 she published three volumes of Old and New Novels. New Stories followed in 1835 and 1836. In 1839 appeared two novels, Montanus the Younger and Ricida; in 1840, One in All; in 1841, Near and Far; in 1843, A Correspondence; in 1844, The Cross Ways; in 1845, Two Generations. From 1849 to 1851 the Baroness Ehrensvärd-Gyllembourg was engaged in bringing out a library edition of her collected works in twelve volumes. On the 2nd of July 1856 she died in her son’s house at Copenhagen. Not until then did the secret of her authorship transpire; for throughout her life she had preserved the closest reticence on the subject even with her nearest friends. The style of Madame Ehrensvärd-Gyllembourg is clear and sparkling; for English readers no closer analogy can be found than between her and Mrs Gaskell, and Cranford might well have been written by the witty Danish authoress.

See J. L. Heiberg, Peter Andreas Heiberg og Thomasine Gyllembourg (Copenhagen, 1882), and L. Kornelius-Hybel, Nogle Bemaerkninger om P. A. Heiberg og Fru Gyllembourg (Copenhagen, 1883).