A Swedish Gone with the Wind by the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature—published here in the first new English translation in more than 100 years
One hundred years ago, Selma Lagerlöf became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She assured her place in Swedish letters with this sweeping historical epic, her first and best-loved novel, and the basis for the 1924 silent film of the same name that launched Greta Garbo to stardom. Set in 1820s Sweden, it tells the story of a defrocked minister named Gösta Berling. After his appetite for alcohol and previous indiscretions end his career, Berling finds a home at Ekeby, an ironworks estate owned by Margareta Celsing, the “Majoress,” that also houses an assortment of eccentric veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. Berling’s defiant and poetic spirit proves magnetic to a string of women, who fall under his spell against the backdrop of political intrigue at Margareta’s estate and the magnificent wintry beauty of rural Sweden.