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Lagraziana's Kalliopeion

This is a blog about my reads as well as everything related to them.

My taste is for good quality literature - old and new. Some of it I review here or on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.



Happiness Beyond Reality: The Emperor of Portugallia by Selma Lagerlöf

The Emperor of Portugallia - Selma Lagerlöf

Abridged version of my review posted on Edith’s Miscellany on 10 January 2014

Life isn’t always easy. Now and then most of us have to go through a situation when reality is so hard to bear that it almost drives us crazy. At such times many people withdraw into themselves and some seek relief in the realm of imagination. Usually this escapism is temporary and limited to reading novels or watching films, but others turn their backs on reality forever. One of those who take refuge in a world of their own is The Emperor of Portugallia, the protagonist of Selma Lagerlöf’s last great novel that reminds of a sad fairy or folk tale.

Set in Southern Sweden between 1860 and 1870 the simple, yet very powerful and moving story talks of the overwhelming love of poor Jan Anderson to his daughter Glory Goldie Sunnycastle named in honour of a beautiful sunset. When the new master of the Falla farm where Jan and his wife are working threatens to drive the family away from their home unless they buy the lot, Glory Goldie persuades her parents to allow her to go to Stockholm to take service for a few months and earn the necessary amount. From the first day Jan misses his daughter and anxiously waits for her return. As time goes by and no word from her arrives, he begins to gradually fill the blank surrounding the girl’s fate with his imagination. Rumours of her immoral conduct reach the village, but in Jan’s dream world Glory Goldie is the spotless Empress of Portugallia… which naturally makes him the Emperor of Portugallia representing her in the country.

The Emperor of Portugallia by Selma Lagerlöf is an enchanting read although also an increasingly sad one towards the end. I enjoyed this novel written a whole century ago very much and I think that it deserves more readers. I don’t need to think twice to recommend it!

For the full review please click here.

Source: http://edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com