The 19th Century Swedish Novel Missing from the Feminist Literary Canon

What Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin did for the abolition movement in the United States, Fredrika Bremer’s 1856 novel Hertha did for the women’s movement in Sweden. Bremer’s boldly feminist novel graphically illustrated women’s oppression under Sweden’s antediluvian laws, and prompted a heated public debate that contributed to emerging social and legal changes for women. It also inspired an arm of the Swedish women's movement that continues to advocate for women today.

'The most drunken country in Europe': Read this and you might like Systembolaget a whole lot better

Sweden's tempestuous relationship with liquor goes back more than 500 years and can make the country’s state-run alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, seem like a nirvana. In fact, it wasn't too long ago that anyone wanting to purchase strong alcohol, such as liquor/spirits, in Sweden would have had to deal not only with an alcohol monopoly, but also with strict rationing.

'Folkhemmet' – how a revolutionary political idea changed Sweden for good

The concept of the People's Home – which embodied a political approach that was midway between Capitalism and Communism – drove Swedish economic, social and political policies for much of the 20th century. It helped transform Sweden from a country with major class inequalities that was struggling to meet new industrial demands into a modern nation consistently ranked among the best in the world. And while it is no longer the mainstay of Swedish political thought and identity, it still carries enormous significance today.

The unexpected things cemeteries can teach you about Sweden and its history

Some people think of cemeteries as foreboding places that provoke sadness or even fear. In Sweden, however, most cemeteries are beautiful oases that invite visitors to pay their respects to the lives of the departed in a variety of ways. Park-like paths encourage members of the public to walk among meticulously-tended grave sites and ancient runestones. Sheltered benches and quiet nooks inspire peaceful meditation. These environments also implicitly invite and encourage visitors to learn about Swedish history and culture.
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A unique Advent calendar: Short articles I wrote about the history behind Swedish Christmas traditions, published every day on The Local Sweden between December 2 and December 24, 2018.

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