The Education of a Self-Made Woman: Fredrika Bremer, 1801-1865

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Far ahead of their time, Bremer's novels (first published in Sweden starting in 1831) were intelligent, clever, and strikingly well-informed in matters concerning women. They were translated and sold many editions. Her aim was not just to entertain, but to educate. She took positions on political questions, started social projects, and chided the church for its political conservatism and theological rigidity. She needled the government to change its laws. Reaching beyond Europe, she travelled two years in America, then wrote her classic The Homes of the New World. She met such notables as Emerson and Dakotah Chief Gray Iron. In this detailed biography by noted Swedish scholar Brita K. Stendahl, Fredrika Bremer emerges as both forthright and enigmatic. It catches her fascinating combination of the courage to witness and agitate for change as well as her desire for privacy and meditation.


". . . a wonderfully illuminating view of the beginnings of feminism from a sharp-eyed woman of an earlier time and another place. . . .Brita Stendahl's compelling account of this nineteenth-century woman's life and work is revealing not only as an open window on the time itself, and an untold part of the history of feminism, but also as an introduction to someone who can help us better understand our own history and social relationships." - CrossCurrents, The Journal of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life

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