Thomasine Christine Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd

Last updated
Painting by Jens Juel, ca. 1790, Frederiksborgmuseet, Hillerod, Denmark Thomasine Gyllembourg.jpg
Painting by Jens Juel, ca. 1790, Frederiksborgmuseet, Hillerød, Denmark

Baroness Thomasine Christine Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd (9 November 1773 – 2 July 1856) was a Danish author, born in Copenhagen. Her maiden name was Buntzen.


Life and writing

She married the famous writer Peter Andreas Heiberg when she was 16 years old. She bore him a son in the following year, the poet and critic Johan Ludvig Heiberg. In 1800, her husband was exiled for political activity and she obtained a divorce, marrying in December 1801 the Swedish Baron Carl Fredrik Ehrensvärd, who was himself a political fugitive, as implicated in the murder in 1792 of Swedish king Gustavus III. Her second husband, who presently adopted the name of Gyllembourg (after his mother, who belonged to the Gyllenborg family), died in 1815.

In 1822 she followed her son to Kiel, where he was appointed professor, and in 1825 she returned with him to Copenhagen. In 1827 she first appeared anonymously as an author by publishing the romance Familien Polonius (The Polonius Family) in her son's newspaper Flyvende Post (The Flying Post). In 1828 the same journal contained Den Magiske Nøgle (The Magic Key), which was immediately followed by En Hverdags-Historie (An Everyday Story). The success of this anonymous work was so great that she adopted the name of "The author of An Everyday Story" until the end of her career.

In 1833–1834 she published three volumes of Old and New Novels followed in 1835–1836 by New Stories which also consisted of 3 volumes. In 1837 she published two novels, Montanus den Yngre (Montanus the Younger) and Nisida (Ricida). Een i Alle (One in All) was published in 1840, Nær og Fjern (Near and Far) in 1841, En Brevvexling (A Correspondence) in 1843, Korsveien (The Cross Ways) in 1844 and To Tidsaldre (Two Ages) in 1845.

From 1849 to 1851 the Baroness Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd was engaged in bringing out a library edition of her collected works in twelve volumes. On 2 July 1856 she died in her son's house at Copenhagen. Throughout her life she had preserved the closest reticence on the subject of her authorship, even with her nearest friends, and it was only after her death that her authorship became known to the public.

Cultural references

Per Olov Enquist's 1981 play Från regnormarnas liv (Rain Snake) describes the relationship between Gyllenbourg and Heilberg. Anne Marie Ejrnæs's 2002 novel Som Svalen (Like the Swallow) is a biographical novel about Thomasine Gyllembourg. [1]



  1. "Som svanen". Gyldendal (in Danish). Retrieved 21 January 2018.

Related Research Articles

Frederick VI of Denmark King of Denmark

Frederick VI was King of Denmark from 13 March 1808 to 3 December 1839 and King of Norway from 13 March 1808 to 7 February 1814, making him the last king of Denmark–Norway. From 1784 until his accession, he served as regent during his father's mental illness and was referred to as the "Crown Prince Regent" (kronprinsregent). For his motto he chose God and the just cause and since the time of his reign, succeeding Danish monarchs have also chosen mottos in the Danish language rather than the formerly customary Latin.

Johanne Luise Heiberg Danish actress

Johanne Luise Heiberg was a Danish actress of the 19th century. She is most famous for her work at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, where she achieved great success.

Johan Ludvig Heiberg (poet) Danish poet and critic (1791–1860)

Johan Ludvig Heiberg, Danish poet, playwright, literary critic, literary historian son of the political writer Peter Andreas Heiberg (1758–1841), and of the novelist, afterwards the Baroness Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd, was born in Copenhagen. He promoted Hegelian philosophy and introduced vaudeville to Denmark.

Henrik Hertz Danish poet

Henrik Hertz was a Danish poet.

Johannes Frederik Fröhlich Danish composer

Johannes Frederik Fröhlich, a Danish violinist, conductor and composer, was a precursor of Niels Gade and J.P.E. Hartmann, and a central figure in Danish musical circles during the Romantic era.

Marguerite Viby Danish actress

Marguerite Viby was a Danish actress of stage, film and television. Considered one of the great comedy actresses of Danish cinema, Viby received honorary Bodil and Robert Awards in 2000 for lifetime achievement. She appeared in more than 50 films and television shows during a career that spanned from the silent film era in 1929 until a television series in 1983.

Sidse Babett Knudsen Danish actress

Sidse Babett Knudsen is a Danish actress who works in theatre, television, and film. Knudsen made her screen debut in the 1997 improvisational comedy Let's Get Lost, for which she received both the Robert and Bodil awards for Best Actress.

Daniel Hailes was a British diplomat. He was the British signatory to the Anglo-Dutch treaty ending the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War in 1783, before serving as a secretary to British embassy in France in 1784-1787, envoy to Poland in 1788-1791, envoy extraordinary to Denmark from 1791, envoy extraordinary to Sweden from 1795. He retired from diplomatic service in 1801.

Carl Fredrik Ehrensvärd Swedish regicide

Carl Fredrik Ehrensvärd was a Swedish Freiherr, soldier, farmer and political writer who was convicted of involvement in the murder of Gustav III in 1792 and sentenced to death. The sentence was later changed by the supreme court and his life was spared on the condition that he left the country for good. He was stripped of his status as Freiherr and his civil rights were revoked. Following his forced departure from Sweden, he eventually settled in Denmark where he met the author and mother of Johan Ludvig Heiberg, Thomasine Christine Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd whom he married.

Anna Nielsen (1803–1856) Danish actor and opera singer

Anna Helena Dorothea Nielsen, née Brenöe,, was a Danish stage actress and opera singer (mezzo-soprano). She was one of the most famous female stage artists in Denmark of her time. She was a mentor for many talents, such as for example Louise Phister and her private home was a center of the theatre world.

Kamma Rahbek Danish salon holder

Karen Margrethe "Kamma" Rahbek, née Heger was a Danish artist, salonist and lady of letters.

Frederik Theodor Kloss painter

Frederik Theodor Kloss was a German-Danish painter who specialized in marine painting.

Christine Løvmand painter

Christine Marie Løvmand was a Danish artist who specialized in paintings of flowers and still lifes. She was one of the few women at the time who gained recognition as a painter.

Andrea Krætzmer Danish ballet dancer

Andrea Marie Krætzmer, née Møller (1811–1889), was a Danish ballet dancer. She became a soloist in the early ballets of August Bournonville.

Carl Thomsen Danish painter and illustrator

Carl Christian Frederik Jacob Thomsen was a Danish painter and illustrator. He specialized in genre painting and also illustrated the works of several Danish authors.

Marie Bregendahl Danish writer

Marie Bregendahl née Sørensen was one of Denmark's most acclaimed authors of rural literature whose novels and short stories were written in a realistic, almost grotesque style.

Italian ambassadors residence in Copenhagen

The Italian ambassador's residence in Copenhagen stands at the corner of Amaliegade with Fredericiagade in the Frederiksstaden neighbourhood of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nyhavn 67

Nyhavn 67 is a listed property overlooking the Nyhavn Canal in central Copenhagen, Denmark. The writer Hans Christian Andersen lived as a lodger with only short interruptions from 1848 to 1865.

Athalia Schwartz Danish writer and educator

Athalia Theophilia Schwartz, pen name Hieronymus, was a Danish writer, journalist and educator. She was an important female contributor to 19th-century Danish literature, publishing schoolbooks, poetry, drama and short stories. She was employed by Berlingske Tidende as a theatre critic. She also wrote about the conditions and lives of prostitutes in England, the Netherlands and Belgium.

HDMS <i>Bellona</i> (1830)

HDMS Bellona was a frigate of the Royal Danish Navy, which she served from 1835 to 1862.


Further reading