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Gösta Berlings saga.
Stockholm: Frithiof Hellbergs förlag,, 1891. 2 volumes, octavo. Recased in the original black wrappers printed in orange, new endpapers. Extremities lightly rubbed and chipped, wrappers lightly scuffed and creased, text blocks strained in a couple of places but firm, margins lightly toned. A very good set. First edition, first impression of Lagerlöf's first novel. Presentation copy inscribed by Lagerlöf to Ida Falbe-Hansen and her partner Elisabeth Grundtvig on the front flyleaf of Volume I: "Frkr Falbe Hansen och Grundtvig med taeksamhet och tillgifvenhet, från förf". Lagerlöf (1858?-1940) was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1909), as well as the first woman to become a member of the Swedish Academy. Gösta Berlings saga, "a fascinatingly original retelling of old Värmland folk legends in an effusive, personal, spontaneously lyric prose", launched her career (Smith, Dictionary of Modern European Literature, pp. 463-4). However, while the work met with mixed reviews in her native Sweden, it became popular in Denmark where it was published by Gyldendalske boghandels forlag in 1892. This copy is inscribed by the author to her Danish translators Falbe-Hansen (1849?-1922) and Elisabeth Grundvig (1856?-1945), with their pencil marginalia throughout. Falbe-Hansen and Grundtvig were essential in popularising Gösta Berlings saga in Denmark as well as in Europe. In 1891, they presented an extract of the work in "Kvinden og Samfundet", the newsletter published by the Danish Women's Alliance and of which Falbe-Hansen was one of the editors. When the complete translation was later published in 1892, they suggested Lagerlöf meet with Georg Brandes, the leading Scandinavian critic and literary scholar of the period, whose positive review of Gösta Berlings saga in Politiken on 16 January 1893 ensured the work's popularity in Denmark. Falbe-Hansen also assisted Lagerlöf in getting in touch with a German translator, ensuring a wider European audience for the debut. Apart from a close working relationship with Lagerlöf, Falbe-Hansen and Grundtvig shared the author's commitment to women's rights and suffrage. Falbe-Hansen was a member of the Danish Women's Alliance and the Women's Reading Circle, as well as one of the cofounder of the Danish Women's National Council, and she regularly campaigned for women's rights at meetings across Denmark (Den Store Danske Encyklopædi). An appealing association copy.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-11-18           Check availability:      Biblio    

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