Tordenskjold, Linnaeus and the Hydra

The Danish-Norwegian naval hero Tordenskjold and the Swedish "Father of Modern Taxonomy" Carl von Linné - perhaps better known as Linnaeus - are connected through the taxidermied remains of a seven-headed hydra. The mysterious beast indirectly caused the young Tordenskjold's death and forced Linnaeus to leave Hamburg in a hurry. Hannover, 9 November 1720 After... Continue Reading →

Kjerstrup

In my previous blog I cited Jens Johan Vangensten's amusing anecdote about a disastrous attempt at ballooning by a certain Kjerstrup. Today I could not contain my curiosity and tried to find out whether I could dig up some more information about this intriguing character from the comfort of my office chair. No fooling around... Continue Reading →

Tordenskjold i Dynekilen (1844)

Writing means killing, killing darlings. My latest journal article - on the afterlives of the naval hero Peter Wessel Tordenskjold - is no exception to this gruesome rule. The article has many a deleted scene. One of the more enjoyable ones is related to Henrik Hertz's play Tordenskjold i Dynekilen from 1844 (see pages 33-37... Continue Reading →

C. F. Høyer

Between the years 1812 and 1821, the Danish art world was entangled in a heated feud on the "usability of Norse mythology in the arts." Main players in the "Yes! Norse mythology should be used in the arts!" camp were the theologian Jens Møller and the antiquarian Finnur Magnússon; they considered the Norse gods to... Continue Reading →

The Wild Hunt

In the Summer of, say, 1864, a young Norwegian student hiked through the mountains of Hallingdal, all alone. The weather had been wonderful, unbearably warm even. But all of a sudden our student saw dark clouds appearing behind the snowy peaks of the mountains. A mighty storm was approaching, and with some pace. Just in... Continue Reading →

Rolf Krage (1770)

In 1769, Johannes Ewald made the acquaintance of his literary hero, the great German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, who at that time resided in Copenhagen under the patronage of Count Bernstorff. Klopstock introduced his young Danish colleague to the world of British literature: to Shakespeare, Milton, and Ossian, who in his eyes offered a more authentic,... Continue Reading →

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