Norway // Central Norway //

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson


Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832–1910) was a major figure in the literary and cultural revival that swept the country at the end of the nineteenth century. Bjørnson made his name with the peasant tales of Synnøve Solbakken in 1857 and thereafter he churned out a veritable flood of novels, stories, poems and plays, many of which romanticized Norwegian country folk and, unusually for the time, were written in Norwegian, rather than the traditional Danish. He also championed all sorts of progressive causes, from Norwegian independence through to equality of the sexes and crofters’ rights, albeit from a liberal (as distinct from leftist) viewpoint. Nowadays, however, his main claim to fame is as author of the poem that became the national anthem.

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