- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
x

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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more than any other foreign visitor to our shores
expected to find here the real land of promise,
where visions were bright and dreams came true.
She came with an open mind for study and inspiration.
Though anxious to know all phases of our
national life, she was especially intent on studying
the position of women. She had heard of the high
regard in which American women were held by
men, and desired an intimate acquaintance with
conditions in American homes, that she might use
her knowledge for the betterment of women’s lot in Sweden.

Charles Dickens had been here a short time
before, had gone home disappointed and written
disagreeable things about us. What would be the
attitude and judgment of a woman who was the
author of half a score of books, knew Europe
from one end to the other, but who came from such
a far distant country? Here was a female writer,
from a terra incognita—borrowing an English
reference to Sweden—whose pictures of domestic
life had agreeably surprised England itself a few
years before; a peculiar Christian soul whose
broad sympathies for heathen antiquity had been
interpreted by one British critic as a
heaven-defying heresy.

Here—to use Hawthorne’s description of her—was
“the funniest little fairy person whom one

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