Henrik Wergeland Norwegian author, poet and romantic nationalist.

Henrik Wergeland was born on June 17, 1808 in Kristiansand, Norway. His father Nicolai was involved in writing the Constitution of Norway at Eidsvold, and in 1817, the family moved there. At 11, he was sent to school in the capital, and his first story was published in Morgenbladet ("The morning paper") only two years after.

Wergeland studied theology, history and botany, and he became active in the ongoing social debate. Norway had just left the union with Denmark and 400 years of Danish administration had left its marks in Norwegian language and culture. Wergeland suggested changes to the official language, the first step towards what is now known as "bokmål" (one of the two official Norwegian languages). He started libraries around the country, and fought to have the "Jew Paragraph" removed from the Constitution. This paragraph reduced the rights of Jews in Norway, and was removed six years after Wergeland died in 1845. Norwegian Jews today put a wreath at Wergeland's grave every May 17th, the Norwegian Constitution Day. The tradition of celebrating this day was also started by Wergeland.

As a writer, Wergeland has mostly written poetry, but also some theatrical plays and essays. A strong national romanticism can be noticed in his writings, and his spontaneous style was strongly critizised by Johann Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven, a much more "structured" author. Their discussions could actually end in fighting.

Wergeland died only 37 years old on July 12, 1845. He was writing until "the last minute".

Bibliography (translation by me)

1827 - Ah!
1828 - Irreparible Tempus
1828 - Sinclairs død ("Sinclair's Death", drama)
1829 - Digte, Første Ring ("Poems, First Cycle")
1830 - Skabelsen, mennesket og Messias ("Creation, man and Messiah". Criticism on this work started the long argument between Wergeland and Johan Welhaven. 1833 - Spaniolen ("The Spaniard")
1833 - Digte, Annen Ring ("Poems, Second Cycle")
1835 - Barnemordersken ("Murderess of children", theatrical play)
1835-1837 - Editor of journal "Statsborgeren" ("The Citizen")
1837 - Campbellerne
1838 - Digte ("Poems")
1838 - Czaris
Stockholmsfareren ("Traveller to Stockholm", farce)
Engelsk salt ("English salt", farce)
Den konstitutionelle ("The Constitutional", farce)
Vinægers fjeldeventyr ("V.'s mountain adventure", farce)
1841 - Svalen ("The swallow")
1841-1842 - Norges Konstitusjons Historie ("The history of the Norwegian Constitution")
1842 - Jødesagen I Det Norske Storthing ("The Jew issue in the Norwegian Parliament")
1842 - Jøden ("The Jew", poetry. A display of Wergeland's sympathy for the Jews.)
1844 - Jødinden ("The (female) Jew")
1844 - Den engelske lods ("The English pilot")
1845 - Hasselnødder ("Hazel nuts", autobiography of the 1830s)
Det befriede Europa ("The freed Europe")
Kongens ankomst ("Arrival of the King")
Jan van Huysums blomsterstykke ("J.v.H.'s flowerpiece")
1845 - Til min gyldenlak ("To my goldenlock (?)")
1845 - Mennesket ("The human", epic poem)

1852-1857 - Samlede skrifter, 9 vol. ("Collected works, 9 vol.", edited by H. Lassen, who also published two editions of selected works by Wergeland.)
1896-1897 - Skrifter i udvalg, 7 vol. ("Selected works, 7 vol.", with introductions by C. Nærup and J.E. Sars. (Sars was related to Welhaven))
1892 - O. Skavlan, H. W. Afhandlinger og brudstykker ("O.S., H.W. Dissertations and pieces", Published after the death of author Olaf Skavlan)
1929 - Poems (Reprinted In 1979)
1957-1962 - Skrifter ("Writings")
1970 - Hjertelag, Geni Og Ulykke ("Big heart, genious and misfortune")
1976 - "Vinterblommer I Barnekammaret" ("Winter flowers in the children's room")
1977 - Vord Lys 1982 - Vesle-Hans's Eventyr i Skogen ("Little H's adventure in the forest")
1984 - Den Indiske Cholera ("The Indian Cholera")
1994 - Intet Andet End Digter ("Nothing but a poet")
1995 - Den Første Gang ("The first time")
2000 - Wergeland på Prosa ("Prose by W.")


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