A History of the Swedish People: Volume 1 – From Prehistory to the Renaissance
By Vilhelm Moberg
Foreword by Gunnar Myrdal
Translated by Paul Britten Austin
“Vilhelm Moberg succeeds in building up a picture of the medieval tiller of the soil that is full of insights and presented with compassion, enthusiasm, and freshness.” Times Literary Supplement
Beginning in prehistoric times and culminating with the Dacke rebellion on 1542, renowned novelist Vilhelm Moberg’s two-volume popular history of the Swedish people approaches its subject from the viewpoint of the common people, documenting peasants’ lives as well as those of the royal families.
In this first volume Moberg examines Viking raids, the coming of Christianity, and the Folkungs royal dynasty, whose tyrannical reign lasted from 1250 to the 1360s. He vividly describes the arrival of the Black Death from a ship that docked carrying only dead passengers, and he recounts the reign of Queen Margareta, who founded the Kalmar Union, comprising all of Scandinavia. In every chapter, Moberg faithfully imparts how history affected “the whole people” of Sweden.
Vilhelm Moberg (1898-1973) was one of Sweden’s greatest writers of the twentieth century and is well known for his remarkable The Emigrants (1949), a four-volume epic of Swedish immigration to America.
Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) was an acclaimed Swedish economist and politician. He won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1974.
Paul Britten Austin is a translator and historian.