Eline Boisen

1813 - 1871


Eline Boisen came from a bourgeois family of a government official in Kongsberg and experienced her family’s social decline as a nine-year-old when her father died. Her schooling at one of Copenhagen’s prestigious girls’ schools was paid for by the King, and after her school years she supported herself as a lady’s companion until, at the age of twenty-one, she married the clergyman F. E. Boisen, who became a well-known follower of Grundtvig. She bore eleven children, one of whom was the later feminist Jutta Boisen Møller. Three of her children died in infancy.

From 1856 to 1869, Eline Boisen wrote her memoirs, an extensive cultural-historical document envisaged as testimony to God’s judgement on the power of the Devil, but at the same time an exposure of marriage and the period’s political and religious protests against the rigid hierarchy of society. She wrote altogether forty-seven exercise books, extracts of which were published in 1985: – men størst er kærligheden. Eline Boisens erindringer fra forrige århundredes midte. In 1998, her memoirs were published in complete form: “Eline Boisen”, published by Anna, Elin, Gudrun Bojsen-Møller, and Birgitte Haarder.