Tradition, modernitet och förnyelse : Elisabeth Beskow och hennes författarskap decennierna kring sekelskiftet 1900

Ulrika Lagerlöf Nilsson

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


The aim of this thesis has been to study the Swedish author ElisabethBeskow (1870–1928, pen name Runa) and her authorship at the intersectionbetween tradition and renewal. Her books became widelyspread in the Nordic countries as well as in Europe and the UnitedStates. Elisabeth Beskow’s life task was proclaiming God’s word forthe sake of people’s well-being and salvation. Her ideal was a modernChristian human being meeting the new society with personalfaith that enabled her or him to navigate among the moral pitfalls ofthe time. The stories in the books conveyed a message consideredimportant to spread in a society where secularization in various wayswas becoming an increasingly noticeable element.Elisabeth Beskow was active in a transition between tradition,modernity and renewal. It is at the intersection of these three conceptsthat a vital part of her life and activities took place. Differenttypes of source material have been used and analyzed to presentmore nuanced research results on Elisabeth Beskow and her activitiesthan those found in earlier studies and descriptions of her. A morechallenging image of Elisabeth Beskow as an individual and authorhas been presented and constitutes the basis for further discussion.This study shows that Elisabeth Beskow was depicted as a liberalpioneer, with her gaze focused on modern society and the courage todare to offer alternative interpretations and thoughts. At the sametime she was characterized by her Christian conservative approach.Carrying out a study focusing on authorship, literary production andcontemporary reviews of that literary production has involved a newresearch perspective not previously implemented in similar studiesby authors studying the genre of edifying religious literature. Thisdissertation is therefore the first comprehensive scientific work onElisabeth Beskow and her authorship.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Print ISBNs978-951-765-875-1
Electronic ISBNs978-951-765-876-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


  • literature
  • church history
  • Biography
  • Women

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