Kuluttaminen ja ylhäisaatelin elämäntapa 1700-luvun Ruotsissa

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


This monograph is an analysis of the lifestyle, consumption and private finances of the Swedish high nobility during the eighteenth century (ca 1730–1795). It describes the lifestyle of one noble house, the House of Fersen. The Fersen family represents the leading political, economic and cultural elite in eighteenth-century Sweden. The analysis concentrates on Count Carl von Fersen (1716–1786) and his brother Count Axel von Fersen (1719–1794), their spouses and children. Carl von Fersen was a courtier whilst Axel von Fersen was an officer and one of the leaders of the Francophile Hat party. His son, Axel von Fersen the younger, was in his time an officer and a favourite of Gustavus III, King of Sweden, as well as a favourite and trusted confidant of Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France.

The research is based upon the Fersen family s private archives, the Counts personal account books, probate inventories, letters and diaries. The study discusses the Fersens landed property and investments in ironworks and manufacturing, the indebtedness of the high nobility, high offices in civil administration, the militia and at court, as well as marriages as the foundations of noble wealth and power. It analyses the Count von Fersens revenue and expenditure, their career options and personal expenses, their involvement in the building and decorating of palaces, and the servants in service of the Fersen family as well as the ideal nobleman and his consumption. Central themes are inheritance, children s education, marriages and ladies preparing their trousseaux, the nobility ordering luxury goods from France, the consumption of Counts and Countesses before and after marrying and having children, the pleasures of a noble life as well as the criticism of luxury and sumptuousness.

The study contributes to the large body of research on consumption and nobility in the eighteenth century by connecting the lifestyle, consumption and private finances of the Swedish high nobility to their European context.
Translated title of the contributionConsumption and the lifestyle of the high nobility in eighteenth-century Sweden
Original languageFinnish
Print ISBNs978-952-92-6060-7
Electronic ISBNs978-952-10-5706-9
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

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