11/12/2008

Woman of the week - Sophie von Knorring

Name: Sophie Margareta von Knorring, born Zelow
Born: 29 September 1797, in Gräfsnäs, Sweden
Died: 13 February 1848, in Skålltorp, Sweden
Married to: Carl Sebastian von Knorring
Children: None
Occupation: Writer

von Knorring was born into the Swedish nobility, her father, Krister Göran Zelow, was a marshal at the Swedish court and her mother, Helena Sofia Gripenstedt, was also of noble blood. She spent her first thirteen years growing up in the country and then her mother took her daughters to Stockholm to give them a better education - and to marry them off.

She married Carl Sebastian von Knorring, a major and later colonel, who was a distant relation to her, in 1820. I can find no indication that the couple had any children. In 1827 she got a severe case of pneumonia that would make her sickly for the rest of her life - and also ended her life when she was far from old.

Her writing began in 1829 when she started a novel to comfort a sister who had been widowed. That book would be published in 1834 as The Cousins (Cousinerna - or Kusinerna as it would be in modern Swedish). The book was published anonymously. She would write another dozen or so novels and essays in her life, the two most famous being The Illusions (Illusionerna - 1836) and The peasant and his landlord (Torparen och hans omgivning, 1843). The last book to be published was A court clerk (En kunglig sekter) which was published posthumously in 1861. It was only the story The fairytale of the princess Rosalinda, that actually had her name on it.

von Knorring was a conservative, she was not a speaker for women's emancipation, but very much an upper-class lady with the common values of such a person. Still, her novels became quite famous for her ability to portray young women in a very believable manner - and her novels also included dialogue in dialect, something that was quite new at the time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sophie von Knorring actually had a daughter, Ebba ( 1821-1865-66? ), married to Lieutenant E. J. G Adelswärd. They had to sons.