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

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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accomplished lady of good birth—music, painting,
composition, and modern languages—but the requirements
of young ladyhood at the time, the intolerable
restrictions, the meaningless polite necessities,
and the confined sedentary life, had been from early
years extremely distasteful to her, and she longed
for active usefulness. As a child she had found a
partial outlet for her surplus energy and budding
indignation against the wrongs of the world in a
mania for destroying her playthings and otherwise
annoying her governess and relatives. At
twelve she dreamed of disguising herself as a page
and joining the military forces of the Crown
Prince, Bernadotte, and seeking adventures in war.
Home was a prison to her restless spirit. She
yearned for fame; she wanted to become a nurse;
even a prolonged study tour through Germany,
Holland, and Switzerland failed to satisfy her
intense thirst for freedom and knowledge; and her
feeling of revolt was only partially assuaged, later,
when she had the opportunity of practising charity
among the tenants of the home estate.

In the interim, however, the gifted girl had
read a vast number of foreign tales and novels.
Her imagination had been aroused, and she had
learned to use mental pictures of forced elopements
and other stirring adventures as a kind of
antidote to her own inactive existence. She had

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