The New International Encyclopædia/Bremer, Fredrika

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

BREMER, brā′mẽr, Fredrika (1801-65). A Swedish novelist, born near Abo, Finland. Her father was an iron-founder, wealthy, and somewhat stern, her mother severe and impatient, the child affectionate, passionate, and restless, misunderstood and hindered in development. Her first writing was youthful poetry in French, produced when she was eight years old. Nursery dramas and a journal followed, with foreign travel that left her “conscious of being born with powerful wings, but conscious of their being clipped.” She turned to works of charity, and to increase her means for these, published anonymously a series of romances under the general title, Sketches of Every-Day Life (1828-48). The first of these was Axel and Anna (1828). A second volume, The H. Family (1829-30), was a sensational success, and subsequent volumes won her an international public. She passed two years (1849-51) in America. Her early novels excel in descriptions of every-day middle-class life. They have the charm of unaffected simplicity and quiet humor. Noteworthy among them are: Axel and Anna (1828); The President's Daughters (1834); Nina (1835); The Neighbors (1837); The Home (1839). Later novels disclose the reformer, advocating philanthropy, religion, and especially the equal rights of women. Of these, Hertha (1857) and Siskonlif are the best. Her verse is unimportant. Of her books of travel, Homes in the New World (1853) contains her impressions of America. She died at Arsta December 31, 1865. An English life of Miss Bremer, with unpublished writings, appeared in 1868. There are good English translations of the earlier novels, by Mary Howitt.