Translator’s Preface

The Story of Gösta Berling was published in Sweden in 1894 and immediately brought its author into prominence.

The tales are founded on actual occurrences and depict the life in the province of Värmland at the beginning of this century. Värmland is a lonely tract in the southern part of Sweden, and has retained many of its old customs, while mining is the principal industry of its sparse population. It consists of great stretches of forest, sloping down to long, narrow lakes, connected by rivers.

Miss Lagerlöf has grown up in the midst of the wild legends of her country, and, deeply imbued with their spirit, interprets them with a living force all her own.

Her efforts have been materially encouraged by the Crown Prince of Sweden, and there is every reason to expect that her genius has not reached its fullest development.