Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

Stockholm University

Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre received her PhD from Washington University, St. Louis in 1992 and was appointed professor of German literature at Stockholm University in 2004. She has published extensively on early modern literature written in German. Her research interests include areas such as gender studies, biographical writing, travel narratives, the Early Modern prose novel, poetology, concepts of space, and knowledge construction. She has held several administrative positions and is currently deputy dean of the Faculty of the Humanities.

Recent publications: ”A Dangerous Place to Be: Fearing City Life in Georg Wickram’s Von guten und bösen Nachbaurn (1556)”. Tears, Sighs and Laughter – Medieval Studies. A Marcus Wallenberg Symposium 6–8 March 2014. Red. Per Förnegård, Erika Kihlman, Mia Åkestam och Gunnel Engwall. Stockholm: Vitterhetsakademien, 2017. 138–152.

„Bücher unterwegs: Die Plünderung deutscher Büchersammlungen durch die Schweden im Dreißigjährigen Krieg.“ Zwischen ThronSaal und FrawenZimmer – Handlungsfelder pommerscher Fürstinnen um 1600 im Vergleich. Red. Dirk Schleinert und Monika Scheikart. "Forschungen zur pommerschen Geschichte" der "Veröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission für Pommern. Köln: Böhlau, 2017. 335¬–346.

“Northern Encounters: Michael Heberer, an Early Modern German Traveler to Sweden. Daphnis: Zeitschrift für Mittlere Deutsche Literatur und Kultur der Frühen Neuzeit (1400–1750) Daphnis 45: 3–4 (2017): 429–439.

Items of interest: Travelogues
During the early modern period (app. 1450–1750) the fascination among many readers for accounts of that which occurred far away was increasingly growing as technical improvements made new areas of the world known to the Europeans. The invention of the printing press with movable letters in the 15th century further contributed to the distribution of the written word.

The Skokloster library holds numerous early modern texts on travels and traveling that are written in languages such as Dutch, English, French, German, Latin, and Swedish. Some of the texts are unique copies that cannot be found elsewhere in Sweden, other texts are easily located in several libraries around the country.

Many travel narratives are small, inexpensive prints, often bound together with other texts with similar topics, but not always in the same language. German and Swedish texts can often be found in the same volume. At Skokloster one also finds richly illustrated folio size publications with detailed images and maps. Those were expensive prints that clearly were intended for wealthy readers and book collectors.

The travelogues at Skokloster library make up a small treasure of early modern knowledge. They contain information about the world as it was known and conceived of at the time when the texts were written, but the collection also shows us what books were important to the collectors, to Carl Gustav Wrangel, Nils Brahe the younger, and Carl Gustav Bielke. Some of the books seem to never have been opened, other books have handwritten notes in the margins. They have been read and used actively, possibly by an armchair traveler.

Contact: Elisabeth.Waghall.Nivre@tyska.su.se