Pontoppidan, Henrik

Pontoppidan, Henrik

(hăn`rēk pôntô`pĭdän), 1857–1943, Danish novelist. He shared the 1917 Nobel Prize in Literature with Gjellerup. Pontoppidan devoted himself to engineering, journalism, and travel before the appearance of his first major work, The Promised Land (tr. 1896), originally published as a trilogy (1891–95). His outstanding novel, Lucky Peter (5 vol., 1898–1904), depicts, in philosophical terms, revolt against the bourgeois life in Copenhagen. In his pessimistic Kingdom of the Dead (5 vol., 1912–16) he explores the problem of human weakness.

Pontoppidan, Henrik


Born July 24, 1857, in Fredericia; died Aug. 21, 1943, in Copenhagen. Danish novelist.

Pontoppidan was the son of a pastor. From 1874 to 1877, he attended the Copenhagen Polytechnic Institute. His collections of stories Pictures of Village Life (1883) and From the Huts (1887) and his novella In Sandinge Parish (1883) give a truthful account of Danish provincial life. During the 1890’s, realistic tendencies became more marked in his novels The Night Watch (1894) and The Song of Songs (1896). The trilogy The Promised Land (1891–95) contains pictures of village life and of the political and religious strife in Denmark of the second half of the 19th century. Characteristic features of the time are portrayed in the novel Lucky Per (1898–1904; Russian translations, 1913 and 1961), which is about the fate of the Danish intelligentsia during the transition period in the country’s development. The temper of the times preceding World War I was pessimistically reflected in the novel The Kingdom of the Dead (1912–16). Pontoppidan’s autobiographical essays of the 1930’s were collected under the title On the Way to Myself (1943). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1917.


Romaner og fortaellinger, parts 1–7. Copenhagen, 1924–26.
Noveller og skitser, vols. 1–3. Copenhagen, 1950.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. sock, vols. 1–5. St. Petersburg, 1913.


Kupriianova, I. P. “Rannee tvorchestvo Kh. Pontoppidana.” Uchenye zapiski LGU, 1959, issue 54, no. 276.
Kupriianova, I. P. “Roman Kh. Pontoppidana ‘Schastlivchik Per.’” Ibid., 1961, issue 62, no. 308.
Andersen, P. C. Henrik Pontoppidan: En biografi og bibliografi. Copenhagen, 1934.
Woel, C. M. Henrik Pontoppidan, parts 1–2. Copenhagen, 1945.
Ahnlund, K. Henrik Pontoppidan: Fern huvudlinjer i fórfattar skapet. Stockholm, 1956.
Thomsen, K. Hold Galden flydende. Aarhus, 1957.
Skjerbæk, T. Kunst og budskab. [Copenhagen, 1970.]
Omkring Lykke-per. Copenhagen, 1971.