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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Frederika Bremer

b. 1801, Abo, Swedish Finland (now Turko, Finland); d. 1865, Arsta, Sweden

The correct spelling of this name is FREDRIKA BREMER.

Known for inaugurating the modern novel in Sweden, Frederika Bremer captured ordinary life with an acutely observant eye in her fiction and travel writings. She toured the United States for two years studying the influence of democracy on domestic life and women’s status, visiting prisons, schools, and factories. Her letters back home to her sister are a window into the Swedish immigrant experience, published as The Homes of the New World: Impressions of America (1853). A champion of women’s rights, Bremer argued for their participation in the burgeoning industrial economy and influenced the formation of several women’s associations—including Bible and temperance societies, charity associations, and sections of the Missionary Society. Her example set the stage for later feminists such as Sophie Adlersparre, who co-founded the emancipationist Fredrike Bremer Førbundet (1884) in her name.