A History of the Swedish People: Volume 2 – From Renaissance to Revolution
By Vilhelm Moberg
Translated by Paul Britten Austin
In this second volume of his vivid history of the Swedes, Vilhelm Moberg focuses on the common people during a period that included two dramatic revolts: the national insurrection under Engelbrekt and the last desperate attempt of the Småland peasantry to retail their medieval liberties – a defiance bloodily crushed by King Gustav Vasa. Using a wide variety of local historical source materials, Moberg studies the ruthless monarch Vasa and his two tragic opponents, the psychopathic Christian II of Denmark and Nils Dacke, the leader of the Smålanders. Furthermore, he examines the enigmatic and wide appeal of the Swedish forest and investigates the origins of the Swedish hatred of Danes, which was implanted by propaganda through songs commissioned by Karl VIII’s chancellery.
Moberg’s history has been widely hailed by the Swedish press as a masterpiece of popular history writing and has been an all-time best seller in Swedish bookstores.
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.
Paul Britten Austin is a translator and historian.