Pasquale del Pezzo, duca di Cajanello

Anne Charlotte Leffler

Anne Charlotte Edgren-Leffler, duchess of Cajanello (October 1, 1849 - October 21, 1892), was a Swedish author, the daughter of the mathematician John Olof Leffler and Gustava Wilhelmina Mittag. Her brother was noted mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler.

Her first volume of stories appeared in 1869, but the first to which she attached her name was Ur lifvet ("From Life," 1882), a series of realistic sketches of the upper circles of Swedish society, followed, by three other collections with the same title. Her earliest plays, Skådespelerskan ("The Actress," 1873), and its successors, were produced anonymously in Stockholm, but in 1883 her reputation was established by the success of Sanna qvinnor ("True Women") and En räddande engel ("An Angel of Deliverance"). Sanna Kvinnor is directed against false femininity, and was well received in Germany as well as in Sweden.

Anne Leffler had married G Edgren in 1872, but about 1884 she was separated from her husband, who did not share her advanced views. She spent some time in England, and in 1885 produced her Hur man gör gott ("How men do good"), followed in 1888 by Kampen för lyckan ("The Struggle for Happiness"), with which she was helped by Sofia Kovalevskaya. Another volume of the Ur Lifvet series appeared in 1889, and Familjelycka ("Domestic Happiness," 1891) was produced in the year after her second marriage (to the Italian mathematician, Pasquale del Pezzo, duca di Cajanello). She died in Naples.

Her dramatic method forms a connecting link between Ibsen and Strindberg, and its masculine directness, freedom front prejudice and frankness won her work great esteem in Sweden. Her last book was a biography (1892) of her friend Sofia Kovalevskaya, by way of introduction to Sonya's autobiography. An English translation (1895) by A. de Furnhjelm and A. M. Clive Bayley contains a biographical note on Fräu Edgren-Leffler by Lily Wolffsohn, based on private sources.


  • Ellen Key, Anne Charlotte Leffler (Stockholm, 1893).

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