Ernst Didring

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Ernst Didring at 1900 Didring 1900.jpg
Ernst Didring at 1900

Ernst Didring (18 October 1868 – 13 October 1931) was an early 20th-century author who wrote mainly of life in his home country of Sweden.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi) and the highest urban concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.



Born 18 October 1868, in Stockholm, Didring aspired to a career in teaching, but was unable to complete his studies due to lack of money. Instead, by 1884 he was working as an office clerk in the head office of the Swedish railways, and in 1899 he married a Danish teacher, Jeanne Rye. He was very involved in the founding of "Statsbanens Pensonering" in 1910, and was a full-time writer from 1914. Between 1915 and 1920 he was the leader of the Swedish red cross for prisoners of the war. Also during that time, and then again in 1923 to 1929, he was the leader of Sweden's writers society. In the intervening years (1920–22) he traveled through Europe (France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany). In 1931 he was awarded the prestigious "Large Prize" by the literary institution Samfundet De Nio . [1] He died, aged 62, in Stockholm.

Stockholm Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

Prisoner of war Person who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict

A prisoner of war (POW) is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, who is held captive by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1610.

Samfundet De Nio is a Swedish literary society founded on 14 February 1913 in Stockholm by a testamentary donation from writer Lotten von Kraemer. The society has nine members who are elected for life. Its purpose is to promote Swedish literature, peace and women's issues. It mainly presents a number of literary awards. It was started as an alternative to the Swedish Academy and is often compared to its more noted cousin.


Ernst Didring at 1930 Didring 1930.jpg
Ernst Didring at 1930

Ernst Didring was a proponent of naturalism.

His main series and best known book is the novel trilogy Malm (iron ore) which was published 1914–25. It describes the life in the north of Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century.

  1. Pioneers: A nice and detailed description of the construction of the railway from Kiruna to Narvik.
  2. The Mountain's Song: Here the work in the digging company is shown.
  3. Speculators: The last part describes shareholders of the iron companies in Stockholm – the ups and downs before World War I.

Some of his other novels are also important in terms of the history of the Swedish literature:

  1. Grålöga—Trilogin – The former life in the Stockholm archipelago (1925–27);
  2. "Världsspindeln" – The Worlds Spider (ca. 1925);
  3. "Det mörkblå frimärket" – The Darkblue Stamp (1932).

They paint a comprehensive picture of the life in the Swedish society around 1900 which is relevant even today. Often there were only several months between the publication of the original book and the translation to other European languages. His work was especially well-recognized in Germany. Didring also wrote some theater plays which were well known in Stockholm in his time.

Many of his books can still be bought in second hand bookshops or loaned from Swedish or German libraries. There are also some unabridged audiobooks available from the Swedish (Myndigheten för tillgängliga medier) (or look for "Didring" in the Handikat catalogue).

See also

List of Swedish language writers

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  1. "List of prize winners since 1916, Samfundet De Nio" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.

This entry is a compressed translation from the Swedish and German Wikipedia versions.