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Jerusalem   By: (1858-1940)

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In "Jerusalem" Selma Lagerlöf takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the rugged landscape of 19th-century Palestine. The novel weaves together the intertwining lives of several characters, each offering a unique perspective on the complex and turbulent history of Jerusalem.

Lagerlöf's masterful storytelling instantly transports readers to this ancient city, capturing the essence of its rich cultural and religious tapestry. Through vivid and evocative descriptions, the author brings to life the bustling markets, narrow alleyways, and iconic landmarks that have made Jerusalem a symbol of spirituality and conflict.

One of the strengths of the book lies in the diverse range of characters Lagerlöf presents. From a young Swedish artist seeking inspiration to a devout Arab woman struggling with the restrictions of her society, each individual adds depth and complexity to the narrative. Through their eyes, readers gain insights into the social, religious, and political dynamics at play in this diverse city.

Lagerlöf skillfully explores themes of faith, love, and redemption, painting a nuanced picture of the human condition. As the characters face personal trials and confront the injustices of their time, their stories intertwine in unexpected ways, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of interconnected lives.

The author's meticulous research is evident throughout the novel, as she seamlessly blends historical facts with fiction. Her attention to detail not only lends credibility to the story but also provides readers with a deeper understanding of the complex historical events that shaped the region.

However, "Jerusalem" is not without its flaws. At times, the narrative can feel slightly disjointed as it moves between different characters and time periods. Additionally, Lagerlöf's writing style, while elegant and descriptive, may not appeal to readers seeking a fast-paced plot.

Nevertheless, the power of Lagerlöf's storytelling is undeniable. Her ability to transport readers to a time and place seemingly boundless in its significance is a testament to her literary prowess. "Jerusalem" is a captivating novel that offers a thought-provoking exploration of history, faith, and the human spirit. It reminds us that in the midst of conflict and chaos, there is also room for compassion, understanding, and hope.

First Page:

E text prepared by Nicole Apostola


A Novel

From the Swedish of



With an Introduction by





The Ingmarssons


At the Schoolmaster's "And They Saw Heaven Open" Karin, Daughter of Ingmar In Zion The Wild Hunt Hellgum The New Way


The Loss of "L'Univers" Hellgum's Letter The Big Log The Ingmar Farm Hök Matts Ericsson The Auction Gertrude The Dean's Widow The Departure of the Pilgrims


As yet the only woman winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the prize awarded to Kipling, Maeterlinck, and Hauptmann, is the Swedish author of this book, "Jerusalem." The Swedish Academy, in recognizing Miss Selma Lagerlöf, declared that they did so "for reason of the noble idealism, the wealth of imagination, the soulful quality of style, which characterize her works." Five years later, in 1914, that august body elected Doctor Lagerlöf into their fellowship, and she is thus the only woman among those eighteen "immortals."

What is the secret of the power that has made Miss Lagerlöf an author acknowledged not alone as a classic in the schools but also as the most popular and generally beloved writer in Scandinavia? She entered Swedish literature at a period when the cold gray star of realism was in the ascendant, when the trenchant pen of Strindberg had swept away the cobwebs of unreality, and people were accustomed to plays and novels almost brutal in their frankness... Continue reading book >>

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