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Beyond the Lone Islands

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Resurrection part 2: The Beskows



In Saturday’s Resurrection post I presented some people who were “raised from the dead”  in one of our local graveyards last week to give a history lesson to the public gathered there.

This post is about three people that I excluded from the previous one because I needed to do a bit more research before presenting them to you (or else it would just have been more pictures of the same actors dressed in different clothes).

Only one of them was actually buried in this town (or lived here): Emanuel Beskow, a dean of some importance in the church back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Better known locally than nation-wide. There is no Wikipedia article about him.

But he did have a couple of relatives by the same surname – Beskow - that were more famous: Nathanael and Elsa. And they were invited to the “resurrection party” too:


Natanael och Elsa Beskow 1937 
Photo of the real Nathanael and Elsa, 1937

Natanael Beskow (1865 – 1953) was a Swedish theologian and school headmaster. He was also active as a preacher, writer, artist, pacifist and social activist. He published a number of collections of sermons and also made substantial contributions as a hymn writer. He was involved with the campaign for women's suffrage in Sweden (which was granted in 1919), and with the labor unions. Beskow was a radical pacifist and also became a prominent negotiator. He was even nominated for the Nobel peace prize in 1947 (but did not get it).


His wife Elsa Beskow (née Maartman) (1874 – 1953) was a Swedish author and illustrator of children's books. She studied art at a university college. She met Nathanael when she was teaching at a school where he was the headmaster. They got married in 1897. They had six sons.

In her books, Elsa frequently combined reality with elements from the fairy tale world. Children meet elves or goblins, and animals talk with people. Central themes were the relationships between children and adults and children's independent initiative.

Elsa became one of the most well known of all Swedish children's book artists. Many of her books became classics and are continually reprinted.

Searching for images on the web, I found that quite a few of her books have been translated into English. Like these, which I remember well from my own childhood (in Swedish):


Elsa Beskow (FI-468696)

Beskow_Little Woman_51ghV07mUhL._SL500_AA300_




Did you ever come across any of these books?


Sandra said...

isn't it amazing how much we are all learning from you photos of things in your town? you go out and find the subject matter, then research and learn and pass on to us. I really like the childrens books.
F-stop is the aperture opening of the lens and is a manual setting on a camera that has lens that can be removed and changed as opposed to a point and shoot camera that sets the aperture automatically.
i have never been able to take a decent photo using it, these were my practice shots.

Ginny said...

"The Little, little Old Old Woman" and "The Sun Egg" look very good! Did you have these and can you tell me anything about them? I'm always buying books for the girls, so seeing these was great, they all look so good. I'm going to look for these on Amazon. I have never heard of the books or Elsa and her husband, but they both were so talented! Did you ever hear any of his hymns? Since she wrote a lot about fairies and goblins, I somehow think she would have approved of the resurrection!

ANNA-LYS said...

Upptäcker just att jag missat att läsa några av Beskows verk, TACK för att du publicerade denna post :-D


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