Sophie Bolander

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Sophie Christina Mathilda Bolander (1807 in Gothenburg – 1869 in Gothenburg), was a Swedish author. She is most famed for her participation in the contemporary debate in gender issues.

Sophie Bolander was the daughter of the factory owner Gustav Erik Bolander and Johanna Kristina Carlström. She never married. Her anti-aristocratic novel »Trolldomstecknet» has been regarded as one of the first tendency novels in Sweden. During the 1850s, many of her novels was published as serials in papers such as Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning, [[Post- och Inrikes Tidningar]] and Aftonbladet. Her novels were romance stories, often in historical setting.

Bolander is mostly known for her participation in the contemporary gender debate. Her writings focused on marriage and motherhood as the one and only true goal for a woman. She supported Fredrika Bremer in the critique of the shallow education of accomplishments for girls, and the reformist's demands that it should be replaced with serious education more equal with the one give to boys. However, in contrast to Bremer and the other reformists, Bolander did not support the idea that women should be given serious education to prepare them for an emancipated life as independent professionals, but rather that they should be given a serious academic education because this would make them better wives and mothers. Fredrika Bremer remarked about this, that Sophie Bolander was only prepared to meet her halfway. However, Bolander was, in this aspect, supporting a common view among contemporary moderate reformists.

Her novel Qvinnan med förmyndare (Woman with Guardian) was a conservative response to the novel Qvinnan utan förmyndare (Woman without Guardian) by Amelie von Strussenfelt, which was a part of the contemporary debate about the minority of adult unmarried women, which were legally under the guardianship of their closest male relative.

Selected works[edit]

  •  »Tante Agnetas aftonberättelser»
  •  »Qvinnan med förmyndare» (1842)
  •  »Modern i hemmet» (1844)
  •  »Trolldomstecknet» (1845)