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Profile of the Day: Emilie Flygare-Carlén

Profile of the Day: Emilie Flygare-Carlén

Emilie Flygare-Carlén

On this day in 1807, Swedish writer Emilie Flygare-Carlén was born. A popular writer during her lifetime, Flygare-Carlén had endured several personal hardships before turning to literature as a means of supporting her family. She became known for her realistic depictions of family life in Sweden and was widely read both within the country and around the world during the later half of the 19th century.

She was born Emilie Smith on August 8, 1807 in Strömstad, Sweden and was the youngest of 14 children born to Rutger Smith, a merchant and retired sea captain, and Margaret Stiegler. As a young child, she sometimes accompanied her father on voyages along the coast, where she often interacted with other seafaring folk, which she later incorporated into her stories.

Flygare-Carlén endured several tragic events during her lifetime. In 1827, she married Axel Flygare and together they had a few children, but only one would survive into adulthood. Flygare died in 1833, leaving the young family without any income. In 1834, she became engaged to Jacob Reinhold Dalin, however, shortly before the wedding, Dalin passed away. A few months later, their daughter was born and placed in the care of Dalin’s relatives. Tragedy struck again in 1837, when her daughter from her first marriage died. She later married poet Johan Gabriel Carlén in 1841.

She first began writing as a means of providing for her family. In 1838, she published her first novel, Valdemar Klein, which would be the first in a series of successful books. Her novels quickly gained popularity and she became one of the most widely read Swedish novelists of her time.

Do you have Swedish ancestry? Explore Emilie Flygare-Carlén’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related to the Swedish author!

View Emilie Flygare-Carlén’s Geni Profile


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Image: Wikimedia Commons


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