Monday, 30 March 2009

Book news: Official biography of the Queen Mother to be published in September

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died seven years ago today. A month ago the Queen of Britain unveiled a statue of her mother in London’s the Mall and on 4 September Macmillan will publish Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross. The book was originally expected in 2007, but has been delayed by two years. The official biographies of George VI and Queen Mary were both published six years after their death, while George V had to wait sixteen years and Edward VIII eighteen.

The historian Kenneth Rose commented on the book in The Daily Telegraph last November:

Prince Carl Philip, the designer

Last Friday Prince Carl Philip of Sweden presented a set of silver cutlery he has designed, called CPB 2091. The Prince is educated a designer from Rhode Island School of Design in the USA and from Forsbergs skola in Stockholm.
Many of the Bernadottes have held artistic skills and Prince Carl Philip is not the first designer in the family. His cousin Oscar Magnuson designs glasses and while Prince Eugen was best known as a painter, he also tried his hand as a designer. Most famous is however Prince Carl Philip’s great-uncle, Sigvard Bernadotte, who after losing his royal title upon marrying a commoner created a name for himself as an industrial designer.
TV4’s “Nyhetsmorgon” yesterday had an interview with the Prince about his work as a designer and photographer as well as his current agricultural studies. In the interview Prince Carl Philip says he only became interested in design the year after Sigvard Bernadotte died, so he never had the chance to discuss design with his great-uncle.


Press release:

Sunday, 29 March 2009

New books: The architecture of Paris

Among the new books this month is also Paris: The Architecture Guide by Chris van Uffelen and Markus Golser, which is published by the Swiss Verlagshaus Braun. The guide takes one through 1900 years and 500 buildings. Braun has also published similar architecture guides to Berlin (in English and German), Hamburg and Vienna (the latter two so far only in German), with London due in November.[backPID]=36&tx_ttproducts_pi1[product]=99&tx_ttproducts_pi1[cat]=5&cHash=f1780a50dd

Book news: Book series on Swedish royal palaces to be resumed

Earlier this month the royal court in Stockholm announced the good news that the book series on the Swedish royal palaces which was cancelled in 2005 will be resumed. The remaining books will be published in cooperation with Gullers förlag in Örebro. First out is the book on Haga, edited by Ingrid Sjöström, which is due to be published in September this year. The second volume on Drottningholm Palace, covering the years from the reign of Gustaf III to the present, will be out in the spring of 2010, edited by Göran Alm and Hans Landberg.
Also on their way are the books on Tullgarn Palace (edited by Mikael Ahlund), Ulriksdal Palace (edited by Lars Ljungström), Gripsholm Castle (edited by Magnus Olausson) and three volumes on Stockholm Palace (edited by Bo Vahlne).
The first book in the series was about the Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm (published in 2002), followed by Rosendal Palace (2003), the first volume on Drottningholm (2004), Rosersberg (2005) and Strömsholm (2005). Thereafter the publisher, Byggförlaget, ceased business and the palace series was accordingly cancelled. Now a new publisher has been found and the palace book series is back on track.
The photo shows Gustaf III’s Pavilion in the Haga Park earlier this month. The restoration of the pavilion is also extensively dealt with in another recent book, Sjuttonhundratalet som svenskt ideal - Moderna rekonstruktioner av historiska miljöer by Victor Edman, published by Nordiska Museets Förlag last year.

New books: Essays on the Norwegian Parliament

Some days ago Det Norske Samlaget published Senatet som aldri vart – Essay frå Stortinget, a collection of essays by Morten Søberg, a political advisor to the Centre Party’s parliamentary group. The essays deal with various political topics, including the fiscal budget, the role of the state secretaries, why the Bank of Norway was located in Trondheim for nearly a century and the history of the Lagting, the senior of the two divisions in the Norwegian parliament, which was intended to be some sort of senate but has ended up as a rather superfluous parliamentary body – and will accordingly be abolished when a pure unicameral system replaces the current semi-bicameral system this autumn. The book deals with many interesting issues, but its weakness is that both the essays in themselves and the book in general jump from one thing to another and include too much “a little of this and a little of that” – which sometimes makes it difficult to keep the thread.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

New books: The Swedish revolution of 1809

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the momentous events of the Swedish revolution of 1809, when Sweden lost Finland to Russia, King Gustaf IV Adolf was deposed and succeeded by his uncle Carl XIII, and Sweden got the constitution which remained in force until 1975. The bicentenary has led to two new books on the events of 1809.
The journalist and author Börje Isakson was first out with his Två dygn som förändrade Sverige – 1809 års revolution, published in January by Natur och Kultur. The book is an easy read and deals chronologically with the events from the outbreak of the war with Russia in 1808 to the election of Marshal Bernadotte as Crown Prince of Sweden in August 1810.

Another journalist, Anders Isaksson, best known for his four-volume biography of Sweden’s wartime Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson, chose another approach in his book on the revolution, Kärlek och krig – Revolutionen 1809, published by Albert Bonniers Förlag earlier this month. Isaksson’s book is less chronological and focuses on one of the leading figures of the revolution, namely Georg Adlersparre, who led the Western Army in its insurrection and its march on Stockholm and found the love of his life on the way. Sadly Anders Isaksson died from a sudden heart attack shortly before the book was published.

On this date: Birth of two Bernadotte princesses

28 March was the birthday of two princesses of Sweden who both married the heir to the throne in another Scandinavian country. Princess Märtha was born on 28 March 1901 as the second of three daughters of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg. Princess Ingrid was born on 28 March 1910 as the only daughter of the future King Gustaf VI Adolf and his first wife, Crown Princess Margareta.
Sadly Crown Princess Margareta died already in 1920, when her daughter was only 10. Princess Ingrid's great grief for her mother and her difficult relationship with her stepmother meant that she came to spend much time with Princess Ingeborg's family and became a close friend of her daughters.
In 1929 Princess Märtha married Crown Prince Olav of Norway. Six years later Princess Ingrid married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Both had three children, both became immensly popular in their adopted countries and both played an important role in keeping up their people's morale during the Second World War.
Märtha and Ingrid resembled each other in many ways and there were many parallells in their lives. But there was one significant difference: Queen Ingrid lived to the ripe age of 90, dying in 2000 as a much-loved matriarch of the Danish royal family, while Crown Princess Märtha passed away in 1954, aged only 53, and never became Queen of Norway.
The pictures both show them in 1914. Princess Ingrid is on top; Princess Märtha below.