elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Sophie Elkan (January 3, 1853 - April 5, 1921)

Sophie Elkan is known as Selma Lagerlöf’s closest friend, had the maiden name Salomon, and belonged to a prominent Jewish family in Gothenburg. She lost her husband and small daughter ten years before she met Selma Lagerlöf in 1894. She mastered several languages and was extremely well-read. In her correspondence with Lagerlöf, “Du lär mig att bli fri”, 1992, it is possible to follow the development of the two authors.

Lagerlöf's letters to Sophie Elkan, You Teach Me to Be Free (Du lär mig att bli fri), published in 1992, tell a passionate love story that began in 1894 and apparently remained the most important relationship of Lagerlöf's life until Elkan's death in 1921. Lagerlöf dedicated her novel Jerusalem I (1901) to "Sophie Elkan, my companion in life and letters." (Picture: Selma Lagerlöf)

In 1889 and 1891 she published collections of short stories under the pseudonym Rust Roest together with the novels Rika flickor, 1893, and Säfve, Kurt & Co., 1894. In 1899, she published, under her real name, the major historical novel John Hall, which is a living portrait of the period and the milieu. After travels with Selma Lagerlöf to countries such as Egypt and Palestine, she published Drömmen om Österlandet (N), 1901. She subsequently returned to the historical novel, writing Konungen (Eng. tr. An Exiled King. Gustaf Adolf IV of Sweden) in four volumes, 1904-1906, and Anckarström, 1910.

Source: http://nordicwomensliterature.net/writer/elkan-sophie

Further Readings:

Swedish Women's Writing 1850-1995 (Women in Context: Women's Writing) by Helena Forsas-Scott
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Continuum; 1 edition (October 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0485920034
ISBN-13: 978-0485920031
Amazon: Swedish Women's Writing 1850-1995

Provides a survey of women's writing in Sweden, from the beginnings of the struggle for emancipation in the 1850s to the present day. These writers are seen within the political, cultural and economic context of women's lives. Modern critical currents are also assessed and Swedish feminist criticism is considered alongside the French and American traditions.

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Tags: author: sophie elkan, gay classics, real life romance

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