Henri Nathansen, 1909
17 July 1868|
|Died||16 February 1944
|Pen name||Frater Taciturnus|
|Occupation||Novelist, dramatist, stage director, biographer|
|Notable works||Inside the Walls, Mendel Philipsen and Son|
Henri Nathansen (17 July 1868 – 16 February 1944) was a Danish writer and stage director, today best known for the play Inside the Walls (Danish: Indenfor Murene).
Nathansen grew up in a merchant family in Copenhagen. Abandoning a legal career, he turned to writing and later directing. His best known work, Inside the Walls, premiered in 1912 at the Royal Danish Theatre, directed by the author. The play centers around a wealthy, loving, but conservative Jewish family whose only daughter breaks away from tradition by attending lectures at the university and secretly becoming engaged to her teacher, a gentile. Still frequently performed, the play was included in the official Canon of Danish Culture in 2006.
Nathansen's 1932 novel Mendel Philipsen and Son, about a Jewish woman who falls in love with a gentile painter but instead enters into a loveless marriage with her Jewish cousin, was adapted for the 1992 movie Sofie.
Late in his career, Nathansen wrote a number of biographies, notably one of Georg Brandes (1929).
In October 1943, when the Nazis attempted to round up the Danish Jews, Nathansen fled to Sweden. Four months later, he took his own life.
- Sprinchorn, Evert; Cody, Gabrielle H., eds. (2007). The Columbia encyclopedia of modern drama. Volume 2. Columbia University Press. pp. 949–950. ISBN 978-0-231-14424-7.
- Marker, Frederick J.; Marker, Lise-Lone (1996). A history of Scandinavian theatre. Cambridge University Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-521-39237-2.
- "Henri Nathansen". Den Store Danske Encyklopædi (in Danish). Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- "Henri Nathansen" (in Danish). bibliografi.dk: International Author Biography. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
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