(pseudonym of Ulrika Vilhelmina Canth, neé Johnsson). Born Mar. 19, 1844, in Tampere; died May 12, 1897, in Kuopio. Finnish writer. Daughter of a merchant.
Canth’s first works, which describe life in the Finnish countryside, include Short Stories (1878) and the plays Burglary (1882) and In Roinilan’s House (1883). In her play The Laborer’s Wife (1885; translated into Russian as Khomsantu, 1960) and short stories (such as “Poor Folk,” 1886), the disfranchisement and misery of Finnish workers and their growing discontent with exploitation were portrayed realistically. In the drama Children of a Cruel Lot (1888), a hero who is a rebel was presented for the first time in Finnish literature. In short stories (such as “Hanna,” 1886) and the play Sylvi (1893; Russian translation, 1960), Canth exposed bourgeois morality and rearing and defended equal rights for women. In the 1890’s the urgency of social problems in Canth’s works gave way to a moralizing, conciliatory tendency (The Preacher’s Family, 1891; Anna Liisa, 1895).
WORKSKootut teokset, vols. 1–4. Helsinki, 1925–28.
Valitut teokset. Helsinki, 1957.
REFERENCES[“Dramaturgiia M. Kant.”] In Karkhu, E. G. Finliandskaia literatura i Rossiia, 1850–1900.Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Frenckell-Theslleff, G. Minna Canth.Helsinki, 1944.
Tarkiainen, V., and E. Kauppinen. Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden historia. Helsinki, 1961.
Kannila, H. Minna Canthin kirjallinen tuotanto: Henkilöbibliografia. [Helsinki, 1967.]
I. IU. MARTSINA