Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754): Learning and Literature in the Nordic Enlightenment, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754)

Learning and Literature in the Nordic Enlightenment, 1st Edition

Edited by Knud Haakonssen, Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen


256 pages

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Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754) was the foremost representative of the Danish-Norwegian Enlightenment and also a European figure of note. He published significant works in natural law and history, but also a very important body of moral essays and epistles. He authored several engaging autobiographies and European travelogues, a major utopian novel that was an immediate European succes, interesting satires that advocated women’s education and career, and a large number of comedies. These comedies secured Holberg’s status as the most significant playwright in Scandinavia before Ibsen and Strindberg. Through his extensive oeuvre, but especially through his plays, Holberg had a decisive influence on the formation of modern Danish as a literary language, something that was a self-conscious effort on the part of a man who saw himself as an educator of the public. Despite his contemporary impact at home and abroad and his ongoing popularity in Scandinavia, he remains little known in the wider world of enlightenment studies. It is the aim of this volume to revive Holberg as a major figure from a minor corner of the Enlightenment world by presenting the full variety of his work and giving it a European context.

Table of Contents


Introduction, Part 1: The Author's Life and Career

[Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen]

Introduction, Part 2: The Author and the Work

[Knud Haakonssen]

Part I: Lives

1. Holberg’s Authorial Personae

[Thomas Ewen Daltveit Slettebø]

2. Holberg’s Autobiographical Letters

[Karen Skovgaard-Petersen]

Part II: Morals

3. Holberg’s Law of Nature and Nations

[Knud Haakonssen]

4. Morals and Religion in Holberg’s Essays

[Jørgen Magnus Sejersted]

5. Heroes and Heroines: The Lives of Men and Women

[Kristoffer Schmidt]

6. Journeys of Humour and Satire: Peder Paars and Niels Klim

[Karen Skovgaard-Petersen]

7. Holberg’s Comedies: Intentions and Inspirations

[Bent Holm]

Part III: Histories

8. History: National, Universal and Dynastic

[Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen]

9. General Church History

[Rolv Nøtvik Jakobsen]

10. Holberg’s Jewish History

[Jørgen Magnus Sejersted]

Part IV: Texts

11. Writings by Holberg in English

[Eiliv Vinje]

About the Editors

Knud Haakonssen is Professor of Intellectual History, University of St. Andrews, and Long-term Fellow of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt.

Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen is Associate Professor at the Saxo Institute, History Section, University of Copenhagen.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Renaissance