Helene Dorthea Pedersen Strange

1874 - 1943


Helene Dorthea Pedersen Strange was a popular writer who wrote about her native region and was a popular educator of the people. She was born and brought up on a farm on Falster, began her working life as a maid, and eventually worked as a freelancer, writing lectures, producing cultural journalism, folklore, and amateur drama. She was a modern-spirited woman, attached to her native soil, but at the same time a keen tourist who constantly travelled, for example in the USA from 1911 to 1913 and again from 1923 to 1925. She was deeply committed to peace issues, the smallholders’ issue, and women’s issues.

She made her debut in 1903 under the pseudonym “En Bondepige” (a country girl), with the novel Menneskelighed og Hellighed, which, besides offering a caricature of the Indre Mission (the Church Association for the Inner Mission in Denmark), an evangelical branch of the Church of Denmark, outlines the utopia built around social motherhood that she fleshes out in her later family chronicles. Her popular works are the double novel Priergaardsslægten I-II, 1922-1923, and the eight novels on the Sværke family, 1929-1941, which provide a historical account of the life of farmers on Falster from the 1700s onwards. In her home territory, she established the Møllebanke gatherings, which were revived in the 1980s, where people meet to enjoy music, theatre, or lectures.