Astrid Margrethe Ehrencron-Kidde

1874 - 1960


Astrid Margrethe Ehrencron-Kidde was unique in Danish literature. She was a story-teller who wrote for both children and adults and systematically explored the theme of loss from her debut publication, the stories Æventyr in 1901, through to her autobiography Hvem kalder. Fra mine erindringers lønkammer in 1960. Her main characters all lose what they see as a key force in their lives: parents, love, a child, a career.

She grew up in the affluent household of a government official who had the means to support and nurture her musical talent. In her youth she dreamed of a career as a concert pianist, but when her nerves could not cope with the demands of the stage, she turned instead to writing. It was her writing which led her to meet the author Harald Kidde, whom she regarded as being the joy and meaning of her life. They married in 1907, and his early death in 1918 confronted her again with the circumstances of loss, albeit differently prepared.

As the main character and narrator in her main work Martin Willéns underlige Hændelser I – IV, 1911-1921, she positioned herself as a spectator of life and drew on the material, figures, conflicts, and geography from the life which she and Harald Kidde had built up and lived together. In 1939 she stopped writing and devoted the rest of her time, up to the publication of her autobiography in 1960, to translating the works of others.