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Viktor Rydberg

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Abraham Viktor Rydberg (Jönköping, December 18 1828 - September 22 1895) was a Swedish author, publicist and poet. He was also a translator of Edgar Allan Poe's work into Swedish.

A central figure of late Romanticism in Sweden, his fictional work includes the novels Fribytaren på Östersjön (The Freebooter on the Baltic) (1857), set in the 17th century; Singoalla (1858), his first major success, with a gypsy as central character; Den siste Atenaren (The Last Athenian, 1859), his best-known novel, which offers a contrast between the toleration of the Hellenic viewpoint with Christian bigotry; and Vapensmeden (The Weapon-Smith, 1891). He also wrote poems, Tomten (1881) being the most widely known.

In 1862 he wrote and published The Bible's Teaching about Christ, a book of contemporary religious criticism, which was hugely successful. However, this book did not find favour with the religious orthodoxy and it is said that this is largely the reason for his exclusion from the Swedish Academy until as late as 1877.

In 1876 he published Roman Days, a series of archaeological studies and essays on Italy.

Between 1886 and 1889 he published three important studies in Germanic and Norse Mythology: Undersökningar i germanisk mythologi I (Investigations into Germanic Mythology I) (1886);Fädernas gudasaga (Our Fathers' Godsaga) (1887) (a children's version of Norse mythology); and Undersökningar i germanisk mythologi II (Investigations into Germanic Mythology II (1889))

Our Fathers' Godsaga was translated by William Reaves in 2003 and is available online. Recently he has just published a translation of the second half of Investigations Into Germanic Mythology II.

There is a school in Djursholm that carries his name, Victor Rydberg Gymnasium, and it is one of the most attractive schools in Sweden with the third highest grade-average in the country.

External links


Preceded by:
Carl Vilhelm August Strandberg
Swedish Academy,
Chair No 16

1877-1895
Succeeded by:
Waldemar Rudin

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