Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark
) is a personal travel narrative
by the eighteenth-century British feminist
writer Mary Wollstonecraft
. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia
and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity. Published by Wollstonecraft's career-long publisher, Joseph Johnson
, it was the last work issued during her lifetime.
Wollstonecraft undertook her tour of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in order to retrieve a stolen treasure ship for her lover, Gilbert Imlay. Believing that the journey would restore their strained relationship, she eagerly set off. However, over the course of the three months she spent in Scandinavia, she realized that Imlay had no intention of renewing the relationship. The letters, which constitute the text, drawn from her journal and from missives she sent to Imlay, reflect her anger and melancholy over his repeated betrayals. Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is therefore both a travel narrative and an autobiographical memoir.
Using the rhetoric of the sublime, Wollstonecraft explores the relationship between self and society in the text. She values subjective experience, particularly in relation to nature; champions the liberation and education of women; and illustrates the detrimental effects of commerce on society.
Tengku Amir Hamzah
(28 February 1911 – 20 March 1946) was an Indonesian poet and National Hero of Indonesia
. Amir began writing poetry while still a teenager: though his works are undated, the earliest are thought to have been written when he first travelled to Java. Drawing influences from his own Malay culture and Islam, as well as from Christianity and Eastern literature, Amir wrote 50 poems, 18 pieces of lyrical prose, and numerous other works, including several translations. In 1932 he co-founded the literary magazine Poedjangga Baroe
. After his return to Sumatra, he stopped writing. Most of his poems were published in two collections, Nyanyi Sunyi
(1937) and Buah Rindu
(1941), first in Poedjangga Baroe
then as stand-alone books.
Poems by Amir deal with the themes of love and religion, and his poetry often reflects a deep inner conflict. His diction, using both Malay and Javanese words and expanding on traditional structures, was influenced by the need for rhythm and metre, as well as symbolism related to particular terms. His earlier works deal with a sense of longing and both erotic and idealised love, whereas his later works have a deeper religious meaning. Of his two collections, Nyanyi Sunyi is generally considered the more developed. Amir has been called the "King of the Poedjangga Baroe-era Poets".