Selma Lagerlöf


Born
in Mårbacka, Värmland, Sweden
November 20, 1858

Died
March 06, 1940

Genre

Influences


Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (1858-1940) was a Swedish author. In 1909 she became the first woman to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings". She later also became the first female member of the Swedish Academy.

Born in the forested countryside of Sweden she was told many of the classic Swedish fairytales, which she would later use as inspiration in her magic realist writings. Since she for some of her early years had problems with her legs (she was born with a faulty hip) she would also spend a lot of time reading books such as the Bible.

As a young woman she was a teacher in the southern parts of Sweden for ten years befo
...more

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More series by Selma Lagerlöf…
“Nothing on earth can make up for the loss of one who has loved you.”
Selma Lagerlöf

“Have you ever seen a child sitting on its mother’s knee listening to fairy stories? As long as the child is told of cruel giants and of the terrible suffering of beautiful princesses, it holds its head up and its eyes open; but if the mother begins to speak of happiness and sunshine, the little one closes its eyes and falls asleep with its head against her breast. . . . I am a child like that, too. Others may like stories of flowers and sunshine; but I choose the dark nights and sad destinies.”
Selma Lagerlöf, Gösta Berling's Saga

“What Gosta,' he said to himself, 'can you no longer endure? You have been hardened in poverty all of your life; you have heard every tree in the forest, every tuft in the meadows preach to you of sacrifice and patience. You, brought up in a country where the winter is severe, and the summer joy is very short, have you forgotten the art of bearing your trials?
'Oh Gosta, a man must bear all that life gives him with a courageous heart and a smile on his lips, else he is no man. Sorrow as much as you will. If you love your beloved, let your conscience burn and chafe within you, but show yourself a man and a Varmlander. Let your glances beam with joy, and meet your friends with a gay word on your lips! Life and nature are hard. They bring forth courage and joy as a counterweight against their own hardness, or no one could endure them...”
Selma Lagerlöf

Polls

April 2017 Old School Classic Poll

Villette by Charlotte Brontë 1853, 573 pages
 
  64 votes, 20.9%

 
  44 votes, 14.4%

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev 1862, 244 pages
 
  38 votes, 12.4%

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol 1842, 512 pages
 
  31 votes, 10.1%

 
  28 votes, 9.2%

 
  27 votes, 8.8%

 
  26 votes, 8.5%

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell 1853, 432 pages
 
  21 votes, 6.9%

 
  11 votes, 3.6%

 
  10 votes, 3.3%

 
  6 votes, 2.0%

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