Louise Cathrine Elisabeth (pseud. Elisabeth Martens) Biørnsen

1824 - 1899


Louise Cathrine Elisabeth Biørnsen was the daughter of a clergyman, grew up in Roholte on Zealand, was unmarried, and lived first with her mother and subsequently with a friend.

Her debut work was  a governess novel, Hvad er livet?, 1855, which was a big success with readers and was reprinted several times. Her novel about marriage, En Qvinde, 1860, describes with a certain critical distance the hidden longings of a married woman. In her short story collections Fortællinger, 1866, and Hvad behøves der for at leve?, 1869, the stories are propelled by themes such as financial difficulties that jeopardise intimacy, lost expectations of love, and distorted morals. In her later novels, such as Sangerinden, 1876, and To Søstre, 1890, the heroines are from more problematic Bohemian milieus and are seduced or abandoned women.