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Remapping the North. Madame de Stäel, Frederike Brun, and the Norway debate 1812–1814

by Torill Steinfeld

The French writer and salonière Germaine de Staël-Holstein and her friend the Danish writer and salonière Frederike Brun were both involved in the political processes which were to determine Norway’s fate in 1814. This article explores and contextualizes their correspondence in 1812–1813 and their lobbyism in 1814. Written at a time when the word “nationality” was introduced into the Scandinavian languages, their correspondence offers an example of contemporary discussions on nation and nationality in Scandinavia. Furthermore, their debate in the spring of 1813 affected Madame de Staël’s standpoint on Norway in her dealings with Bernadotte and even his willingness to grant Norway “independence”. The writings of August Wilhelm Schlegel in 1813–1814 are also interesting as part of these discourses about Scandinavia, which seems to have engaged many outstanding European intellectuals.

AsK, September 2012

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