Fun Facts Friday: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

December 8, 2017

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (8 December, 1832 – 26 April, 1910) was the first Norwegian Nobel laureate Norwegian author, public speaker, journalist, editor, and poet, as well as one of the most prominent public figures in the Norway of his day.

Books by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson*
Books by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson*

1)      Born on a farm in Bjørgan in Kvikne,  to a father who was a preacher, Bjørnson spent his childhood in the picturesque district of Nesset.

2)      At the age of 17, Mr. Bjørnson entered the college prep school of Heltbergs Studentfabrikkm (Heltberg Latin School), the same place that Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and A. O. Vinje studied before him.

3)      Mr. Bjørnson wrote about the plight of peasants starting in 1857 wanting “to create a new saga in the light of the peasant”.

4)      That same year, Mr. Bjørnson was appointed as the director of a theater in Bergen, a post he held for two years. He traveled in Europe until 1863 and in 1865 started to manage another theater.

5)      Mr. Bjørnson was a very vocal and opinionated about politics and was even charged with treason, being able to return to his beloved Norway in 1882 from Germany.

6)      Together with his wife, Karoline Reimers, the couple had six children that lived to adulthood.

7)      He had another son in his 50s with 17-year-old Guri Andersdotter.

8)      He was a staunch supporter of Alfred Dreyfus during the Dreyfus Affair.

9)      He was one of the original members of Norway Nobel Committee which awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

10)   He received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature “as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit”.

Books by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson*

Zohar – Man of LA Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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