Abstract: Fången och fri. 1880-talets svenska kvinnliga författare om hemmet, yrkeslivet och konstnärskapet.
(Captive and Free: Swedish Women Writers of the 1880's on the Home, Working Life, and Artistry).
Eva Heggestad, Skrifter utgivna av Avdelningen för litteratursociologi
vid Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen i Uppsala, nr 27. 1991
264 pp. Uppsala ISBN 91-85178-19-5, ISSN 0349-1145.
(Swedish text with a summary in English.)
This dissertation deals with the Swedish women writers of the 1880's and their literary publications in the belles-lettres, 1880–1889. The main objective is to analyze how the female authors describe the situation of the contemporary woman in selected texts which have as motifs the position of the woman in the home, her situation in working lite, and her opportunities for artistic creativity. The goal has furthermore been to provide a survey of the female authors' collected publications in book form in the fields of fiction, drama, and poetry and to describe their backgrounds and their situations as writing women. A bio-bibliography provides the biographical information for the individual authors, as well as a compendium of the female authors' first editions of adult fiction in book form, 1880–1889.
The woman of the 1880's lived in a period of transition, which is also reflected in the texts of the female authors. They constantly return to those questions which touch upon the opportunities and difficulties of the contemporary woman. What were the implications of being a woman in a society characterized by traditions and conventions as well as new ideas? How could she realize her potential? What made her a captive, and what set her free?
The dream of being able to reconcile love and home life with economic independencc or artistic creativity is a recurring theme, although women were often forced to make a choice depending on the reality of the surroundings. At the same time that sharp criticism was directed against the economic and social conditions under which women had to live, the female authors also presented more utopian visions of how a woman could combine the need for love and companionship with the demand for independence and self-worth.
Keywords: Sociology of literature. The modern breakthrough, Women's studies