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MONEY by Victoria Benedictsson


by Victoria Benedictsson & translated by Sarah Death

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2000
ISBN: 1-870041-40-2

The first English translation of a feminist classic, originally published in 1885, and still very popular in its author's native Sweden. Benedictsson's doubtless autobiographical protagonist Selma Berg is a high-spirited, ambitious girl herded into a disastrous marriage with a wealthy older man. Though it's something less than a masterpiece, this earnest first novel explores quite convincingly Selma's transformation from a complacent trophy wife to an embryonic independent woman—when she walks decisively out of her comfortable life, in a climactic scene that consciously echoes the end of the nearly contemporary Ibsen play A Doll's House. Benedictsson published Money pseudonymously (as `Ernst Ahlgren`), and the indifferent reception it then received in all probability influenced her decision to take her own life (in 1888). It’s not—as is sometimes alleged—a Swedish Madame Bovary—but it remains an impassioned, intelligent, and curiously neglected work.