Thursday, 26 April 2012

W is for The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils was the first Swedish book I ever bought. It's Swedish title is Nils Hogerssons underbara resa genom Sverige, which means Nils Holgersson's wonderful journey across Sweden. 

It was written by Selma Lagerlöf and published in 1906. She was commissioned to write it as a geography book for schools and it is said that one of the reasons for this was that at the time there was a big migration from Sweden to the US and they wanted to help the Swedes fall in love with their country again. 

It certainly made me fall in love with Sweden. It's an exciting story and through Lagerlöf's beautiful writing, you are taken on a -wonderful- adventure through Sweden with Nils, the mischievous protagonist, who has been shrunk by a 'tomte' (a kind of little dwarf) as a result of his bad behaviour. 
The illustrations are absolutely stunning too! I wish I could find some examples for you but I've searched and I can't find anything!

Nils can be found on the back of Swedish 20kr notes. Actually, this story was the very first thing Björn and I talked about, the evening we met. He showed me one of these notes and was surprised to hear that I know and love the book :)

Have you ever read this story? I think it's quite famous outside of Sweden too. Can you believe we're already at 'W'? Just three letters left now and then my birthday!

inspire nordic


  1. You've got quite a book already written yourself. Swedish culture in 26 days from A-Z! I can't wait to buy it.

  2. hi nikki! you make me desire this book;D

  3. It sounds like a cute story!

  4. Love the art on the bank note. If, and that's a big 'if', I don't get to say this on the day, I shall say this now - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nikki :) x

  5. Never heard of this one either! The only Swedish book I remember reading was Pippi Longstocking. Loved the movies as well!

  6. Pippi Longstocking was Swedish? I never knew. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils looks lovely.

  7. Sounds/looks like a wonderful story - I want to read it!