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Book Title: The Saga of Gösta Berling|
The author of the book: Selma Lagerlöf
ISBN 13: 9780143105909
Edition: Penguin Classics
Date of issue: January 6th 2011
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 498 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.6
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One hundred years ago, Selma Lagerlöf became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She assured her place in Swedish letters with this sweeping historical epic, her first and best-loved novel, and the basis for the 1924 silent film of the same name that launched Greta Garbo to stardom. Set in 1820s Sweden, it tells the story of a defrocked minister named Gösta Berling. After his appetite for alcohol and previous indiscretions end his career, Berling finds a home at Ekeby, an ironworks estate owned by Margareta Celsing, the "Majoress," that also houses and assortment of eccentric veterans of the Napoleanic Wars. Berling's defiant and poetic spirit proves magnetic to a string of women, who fall under his spell against the backdrop of political intrigue at Margareta's estate and the magnificent wintry beauty of rural Sweden.
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Read information about the authorSelma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf 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 before her first novel Gösta Berling's Saga was published. As her writer career progressed she would keep up a correspondance with some of her former female collegues for almost her entire life.
Lagerlöf never married and was almost certainly a lesbian (she never officially stated that she was, but most later researchers believe this to be the case). For many years her constant companion was fellow writer Sophie Elkan, with whom she traveled to Italy and the Middle East. Her visit to Palestine and a colony of Christians there, would inspire her to write Jerusalem, her story of Swedish farmers converting into a evangelical Christian group and travelling to "The American Colony" in Jerusalem.
Lagerlöf was involved in both women issues as well as politics. She would among other things help the Jewish writer Nelly Sachs to come to Sweden and donated her Nobel medal to the Finnish war effort against the Soviet union.
Outside of Sweden she's perhaps most widely known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils).
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