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Sigrid Undset


Sigrid Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark in 1882. Her father was an archeologist. The family moved to Norway when she was two. She grew up in Oslo. Her father died when she was eleven, meaning the family could not afford to send her to university. She took a secretarial course and worked for an engineering company for ten years. While employed at office work, Undset wrote and studied. She started writing a historical novel when she was sixteen. She finished it when she was twenty-two but it was turned down for publication. She then wrote a shorter, contemporary novel which was at first turned down and then accepted. This wasFru Marta Oulie (Marta Oulie). It created something of a stir, dealing with adultery.

She went on to write books set in contemporary Oslo. She quit her job and travelled around Europe, spending nine months in Rome. There she met the Norwegian painter Anders Castus Svarstad who was married. After he was divorced, the couple married, spending time in London and Rome.

After World War I, she moved to Lillehammer. The couple divorced and she and her children stayed in Lillehammer. She now started work on her best-known work, the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, followed by Olav Audunssøn i Hestviken (OlavAudunssøn 1. The Vows) and the subsequent volumes in the four-part book. She continued writing both contemporary and historical books, as well as her memoirs. She won the Nobel Prize in 1928.

After the German invasion, she fled to neutral Sweden and then to the United States, returning at the end of the war. She did not publish another word. She died in 1949.

Other links

Sigrid Undset
Sigrid Undset
Sigrid Undset
Sigrid Undset
Look to Norway An affectionate account of a national hero
Bjerkebækt (her home, now a museum)
Sigrid Undset (in Norwegian)


1907 Fru Marta Oulie (Marta Oulie) (novel)
1908 Den lykkelige alder (stories)
1909 Fortællingen om Viga-Ljot og Vigdis (Gunnar’s Daughter) (novel)
1910 Ungdom (poetry)
1911 Jenny (Jenny))(novel)
1912 Fattige skjebner (stories)
1914 Våren (novel)
1915 Fortellinger om Kong Artur og ridderne av Det runde bord, retelling of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur
1917 Splinten av troldspeilet (contains Fru Hjelde (Images in a Mirror (stories)
1918 De kloge jomfruer (stories)
1919 Et kvindesynspunkt (essays)
1920 Vårskyer (stories)
1920 Sankt Halvards liv, død og jærtegn, fortelling
1920–22 Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter) (novel trilogy)
   1920 Kransen (The Wreath; later The Garland)
   1921 Husfrue (The Mistress of Husaby’later: The Wife)
   1922 Korset (The Cross)
1925 Olav Audunssøn i Hestviken (The Axe); later: (OlavAudunssøn. 1. Vows) (novel)
1925 Olav Audunssøn i Hestviken (The Snake Pit); later: (OlavAudunssøn. 2. Providence) (novel)
1927 Olav Audunssøn og hans barn (In the Wilderness) (Part 1) The Son Avenger) (Part 2) (novel)
1927 Katholsk propaganda (essays)
1929 Gymnadenia (The Wild Orchid) (novel)
1929 Etapper (essays)
1930 Den brændende busk (The Burning Bush) (novel)
1930 Hellig Olav, Norges konge (hagiography)
1932 Ida Elisabeth (Ida Elisabeth) (novel)
1933 Etapper. Ny række (Stage on the Road) (essays)
1934 Elleve aar (The Longest Years) (novel))
1936 Den trofaste hustru (The Faithful Wife) (novel)
1937 Norske helgener (hagiography)
1938 Selvportretter og landskapsbilleder (Men, Women and Places) (history)
1939 Madame Dorthea (Madame Dorothea) (novel)
1945 Tilbake til fremtiden (Return to the Future) (memoirs)
1947 Lykkelige dager (Happy Times in Norway) (memoirs)
1951 Caterina av Siena (Catherine of Siena) (hagiography)
1952 Artikler og taler fra krigstiden (essays)
1955 Sigurd og hans tapre venner (Sigurd and His Brave Companions) (children’s)
1957 Sten Steensen Blicher (cultural history)
1968 I grålysningen (novel)
1972 Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne (children’s)
1973 Prinsessene i Berget det blå (children’s)
1978 Four Stories
1992 Fred på jorden (stories)
2008 Essays og artikler 1940-1949 (essays, articles)