Elisabeth Ane Lisbeth Hansen

1774 - 1853


Elisabeth Ane Lisbeth Hansen was known in Copenhagen in the 1830s for her adventurous accounts from her own life, which she wrote for periodicals and was the child of a farm labourer, born out of wedlock. She supported herself from the age of eleven and died in complete poverty. During her life she worked as a maid, a governess, an embroiderer, and as a publisher. She was married three times, had an illegitimate daughter, was well-travelled and well-read, and could write English.

In essays and occasional poems, she was an eager social debater and an advocate of personal, financial, and artistic freedom. Elisabeth Hansen’s debut work was her novel Dido og Don Pedro, which was published in 1821. Like her two other novels with female main characters, it contains harsh, half-concealed criticism of society and women’s opportunities.

Articles about her