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Gustaf Fröding

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Gustaf Fröding
Fröding in 1896
Fröding in 1896
Born(1860-08-22)22 August 1860
Alster, Sweden
Died8 February 1911(1911-02-08) (aged 50)
Stockholm, Sweden

Gustaf Fröding (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɡɵ̂sːtav ˈfrø̂ːdɪŋ] ; 22 August 1860 – 8 February 1911) was a Swedish poet and writer from Alster, Värmland. The family moved to Kristinehamn in the year 1867. He later studied at Uppsala University and worked as a journalist in Karlstad.[1]


His poetry combines formal virtuosity with a sympathy for the ordinary, the neglected and the down-trodden, sometimes written in his own regional dialect. It is highly musical and lends itself to musical setting; many of his poems have been set to music and recorded by Swedish singers such as Olle Adolphson, Monica Zetterlund, the Värmland group Sven-Ingvars and the Swedish band Mando Diao.

Fröding wrote openly about his personal problems with alcohol and women and had to face a trial for obscenity.


Gustaf Fröding and Verner von Heidenstam dressed in togas, the day after Heidenstam's marriage at Blå Jungfrun

The latter part of his life he spent in different mental institutions and hospitals to cure his mental illness and alcoholism, and eventually diabetes. During the first half of the 1890s he spent a couple of years at the Suttestad institution in Lillehammer, Norway, where he finished his work on his third book of poetry Stänk och flikar, which was published in 1896. He wrote much of the material at a mental institution in Görlitz, Germany. In 1896 he moved back to Sweden. But as the year neared Christmas, his sister Cecilia made the difficult decision to make him stay at a hospital in Uppsala. Under the care of professor Frey Svenson Fröding got away from liquor and women, except one, Ida Bäckman. To this day, people think that Ida Bäckman wanted to marry Fröding and corrupt him in some way[citation needed]. Later she wrote books but they were always judged harshly and never got good reviews. She is about to have her name cleared in Sweden. Fröding never married Ida. She was never asked to stop visiting Fröding by professor Svenson and Cecilia Fröding. Instead Fröding grew fond of a nurse named Signe Trotzig. When he left hospital in Uppsala she stayed with him to the day he died.

A play by Swedish playwright Gottfrid Grafström, called Sjung vackert om kärlek, about Fröding's time at the mental institution in Uppsala was first performed at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in 1973[2] and has had periodic revivals since.

Selected works[edit]

  • Gitarr och dragharmonika (Guitar and concertina) 1891
  • Nya dikter (New poems) 1893
  • Räggler å paschaser (Tall tales and adventures) 1895
  • Stänk och flikar (Splashes and spray) 1896
  • Nytt och gammalt (New and old) 1897
  • Gralstänk (Splashes of the grail) 1898
  • Efterskörd (Gleanings) 1910
  • Reconvalescentia (Convalescence) 1914
  • Samlade skrifter 1-16 (Collected works 1-16) 1917–1922
  • Brev till en ung flicka (Letters to a young girl) 1952
  • Äventyr i Norge (Adventures in Norway) 1963
  • Gustaf Frödings brev, 2 vol. (Gustaf Fröding's letters, 2 vol.) 1981-1982
  • "23 Bojaere"*

His works in English[edit]

  • Poems 1903 [3]
  • Selected Poems 1916 [4]
  • Guitar and Concertina 1925 [5]
  • Gustaf Fröding: His Life and Poetry 1986 [6]
  • Swedes On Love CD 1991 [7]
  • The Selected Poems of Gustaf Fröding 1993 [8]
  • The Complete Poems of Gustaf Fröding 1997-1999 [9]
  • The North! To the North! 2001 [10]


  1. ^ Gustaf Fröding, Swedish Lyric Poet by Charles Wharton Stork, (Cedar Falls, IA: The North American Review, 1916). Vol. 204, No. 733 (December), pp. 897-908.
  2. ^ "Sjung vackert om kärlek". Royal Dramatic Theatre. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ Poems by Gustaf Fröding, trans. by Albert Björck, (Stockholm: Björck och Börjesson, 1903).
  4. ^ Selected Poems by Gustaf Fröding, trans. by Charles Wharton Stork, (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916).
  5. ^ Guitar and Concertina by Gustaf Fröding, trans. by C. D. Locock, (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1925).
  6. ^ Gustaf Fröding: His Life and Poetry by Paul Britten Austin, (Karlstad: Föreningen Alsters Herrgård, 1986).
  7. ^ Swedes On Love CD, trans. by Roger Hinchliffe, (Stockholm: Roger Records, 1991).
  8. ^ The Selected Poems of Gustaf Fröding, trans. by Henrik Aspán in collaboration with Martin S. Allwood, (Mullsjö: Persona Press, 1993).
  9. ^ The Complete Poems of Gustaf Fröding, trans. by Mike McArthur, several volumes, (Wintringham: Oak Tree Press, 1997-1999).
  10. ^ The North! To the North!, trans. by Judith Moffett, five poets including Fröding, (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2001).

External links[edit]


Influential Swedish critics and authors of the 1890s. Fröding: third from left in back row.



Streaming audio