Selma Lagerlöf



Selma Lagerlöf, one of the world´s most famous authors, was born in 1858 at Mårbacka in Östra Ämtervik outside Sunne. Thanks to her beloved grandmother Selma Lagerlöf´s childhood were filled with fairytales and typical stories about the people, nature and supernatural phenomenon in Värmland.

Selma Lagerlöf decided in an early stage to become an author. Before she took the final leap into professional writing she worked as a teacher for some years in Karlskrona. Before that her dear Mårbacka had been driven to bankruptcy in due to missfortunate financial investements by her father. Therefor the family lost their ownership of Mårbacka and had to leave the mansion. Selma Lagerlöf carried from that day on, the dream of one day being able to buy the house and estate back.

Turning from a teacher to a professionell writer became a possibility for Selma Lagerlöf when her breakthrough with The Saga of Gösta Berling made a complete success. After publicing several famous works Selma Lagerlöf was awarded, as the first woman ever, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909. This award, with its prize money, finally gave Selma Lagerlöf the opportunity to buy the whole estate of Mårbacka back. She had earlier bought the mansion back using her earnings from her authorship.

Finally, back in safe harbour at Mårbacka, Selma Lagerlöf could continue her writing - both in the shape of letters and books. Not only was she writing, she was also an outstanding entrepreneur and Mårbacka soon became a successfull business and farm. Likewise, Selma Lagerlöf´s sense of new thinking reflected in her engagement in political issues as she was member of severel committees at a municipal level. Also her commitment in women´s rights and issues of peace showed a fascinating strength.

Selma Lagerlöf died at Mårbacka in the year of 1940.



The guided tours at Mårbacka are both interesting and entertaining. A visit to Selma Lagerlöf´s grave at Östra Ämterviks kyrka is given while wandering in the footsteps of the famous author.


At Sunne library there is a memorial room dedicated to Selma Lagerlöf. You will find the complete collection of her works there.