Profile of the Day: Selma Lagerlöf

Posted November 20, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you have Swedish ancestry? On this day in 1858, Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf was born. In 1909, Lagerlöf became the first female writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Image: Selma Lagerlöf / Library of Congress

Lagerlöf was born on November 20, 1858 in Mårbacka, her family’s estate, in Värmland, Sweden. She was the fifth of six children born to Erik Gustaf Lagerlöf, a lieutenant in the Royal Värmland Regiment, and Louise Wallroth.

While working as a school teacher, Lagerlöf published her first novel, The Saga of Gösta Berling, in 1891. She then chose to pursue her writing full time and published several more novels, including the children’s book, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. The popular story has been translated into more than 30 languages and is perhaps Lagerlöf’s best known work.

In 1909, Lagerlöf became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was also the first female to be granted membership in the Swedish Academy in 1914.

Lagerlöf died on March 16, 1940 at the age of 81.

View Selma Lagerlöf’s Geni Profile

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