Scandinavian Studies Henrik Meinander. A History of Finland. Trans. Tom Geddes. New York: Columbia up, 2011. Pp. 227. Meinander's manual has been taken over by Columbia from its British publisher, Hurst. The Swedish text was published in 2007 and in paperback in 2010. Lamentably, the rich illustrations of the 2007 edition have been much reduced, and the striking ornamental chapter-headings have all disappeared. The author has been handsomely served by his experienced translator, thanked in the two paragraphs added to the introduction. Going through the compact but gracefully written texts, Swedish against English, one stumbles on only a handful of causes for harmless merriment or passing confusion. Young Gustav Vasa "turned out to be anything but a political gadfly" (20), but, in the original, "visade sig vara allt annat än en politisk dagslända, "Mayfly," ruling the Kingdom of Sweden from 1523 to 1560. The translation says that Charles XII "fell in battle" (53) for "stupade," a rendering giving a slightly askew cast to those murky events in the forward trench at Fredrikshald, "Vårt land / Mamme" (83) was "set to music by the German composer who was working in Finland" ("den i Finland verksamma tonsättaren"), sounding as though
Scandinavian Studies – Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
Published: Aug 23, 2012
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