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Swedish novelist Fredrika Bremer (1801 - 1865) is known in the United States primarily for the written observations she made during her American travels in the late 1840s and early 1850s, many of them dealing with the lives of African-American slaves. In her own time, however, Bremer's novels were known all over Europe and the United States, appearing in translated versions almost as fast as they were published in Swedish.
As a writer, Bremer was a pioneer advocate for women's rights. Her novels were built around female characters who were more independent than any others in Swedish literature up to that point, and who suffered the effects of a repressive, completely male-dominated society. Bremer's novel Hertha (1856) dramatized the need for legal rights for women, and it was credited with providing the impetus for reforms improving the status of women that were implemented in Sweden in the years following the book's publication. In many ways, Bremer was a full counterpart to the women writers in larger European countries who worked to develop the new political and cultural consciousness that led to a broader demands for women's rights.

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