Zachris Topelius

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Topelius, Zachris


Born Jan. 14, 1818, in Kuddnäs; died Mar. 12, 1898, in Helsinki. Finnish writer. Member of the Swedish Academy. Wrote in Swedish.

Topelius was a professor at the University of Helsinki from 1854 to 1878 and was the rector of the university from 1875 to 1878. His works include The History of Finland in Drawings (1845–52) and collections of romantic verse, such as Heath Blossoms (vols. 1–3, 1845–54), New Leaves (1870), and Heath (1889). Topelius also published books for young people, such as The Field Surgeon’s Stories (five cycles, 1853–67), which are romanticized accounts of the history of Sweden and Finland; The Book of Nature (1856); The Book of Our Country (1875); two series of historical stories under the title Winter Evenings (1880–97); and Tales (fases. 1–4, 1847–52).


Samlade skrifter, parts 1, 3–7, 9–14, 18–20, 23, 24. Helsinki [1899–1905].
Konstnärsbrev, parts 1–2. Helsinki-Copenhagen, 1956–60.
Topelius Zachris 120 dikter. Helsinki [1970].
In Russian translation:
Skazki. Petrozavodsk, 1947.


Braude, L. Iu. Skazochniki Skandinavii. Leningrad, 1974.
Lagerlöf, S. Zachris Topelius. Stockholm, 1920.
Nyberg, P. B. Z. Topelius Elämäkerrallinen kuvaus, parts 1–2. Porvoo-Helsinki, 1950.
Rancken, G. Zachris Topeliuksen kuvakielestä ja faabeleista. Tampere, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Snellman, Runeberg, Lonnrot and Zachris Topelius (1818-1898) were foundational actors in formulating Finnish national identity.
The title is taken from a poem by Zachris Topelius (1818-98), "Beloved blue eye, / smile as in days gone past," and the text could have turned out to be sentimental or even a tearjerker, the tale of a devoted daughter's heroic care for her mother, often under conditions of considerable difficulty: Kristina Bjorklund had her teaching duties at the university (and she was conscientious), she had her essential literary work, and, in addition, she had her own lameness, from childhood, which a necessary operation made even worse.