Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson

Poet, 1832-1910

Growing up in Romsdal did leave its marks on Bjørnson’s poetry although he moved to the capital at the aged of 17. In Christiania he graduated from high school along with Henrik Ibsen and at the same time he was a theatre critic.

After completing the program, he decided that he wanted his future outcome from writing. He started with peasant-tales and saga-historical plays. This to awaken farmers to social awareness and to build up a self-esteem in the Norwegian people, "Synnøve Solbakken" and "A Happy Boy" are examples of peasant-tales. The best known saga-historical play is "Sigurd Slembe".

Bjørnson served as the artistic director of the Theatre in Bergen, and it was during this stay "Yes, we love this country" (The national anthem for Norway) was added to his work. The melody was written by his cousin, Richard Nordraak.
During long stays abroad in Rome, Paris and Munich the dramatist Bjørnson came forward. Eventually, he moved from romanticism and over to the realism. "The bankrupt" contributed to the introduction of realistic problem-drama to Scandinavia.

Bjornson was politically active in the public debate in most areas, and he was especially concerned with morality and politics. He attacked the kingdom, the church and the civil servants. He fought for the right to divorce and for women's right to vote. Politically, he was engaged at the radical left. He also participated in the international debate, where he argued the issues for indigenous population and the small nations' right.

He was married to Karoline Bjørnson, but the marriage was stormy.

71 years old, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The monument represents the Norwegian flag folded over the tombstone.

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