Thus Was Born Feminism

Have women always felt oppressed or, if not, when did it begin? During my research in the archives of the Centrum för Näringslivshistoria (The Centre for Business History) I found many women who ran their own businesses or actively participated in the family business. But were they isolated phenomena? Or was the framework simply more conducive to entrepreneurship? Can other sources help us complete this picture of women's roles in the past – for example through the fiction?

When novel writing became possible after the gradual introduction of press freedom, we begin to encounter environments depicted for women and which were about women and were familiar to the readers. Particularly interesting are the authors with roots in the bourgeoisie and their contemporary depictions. Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1793-1866) wanted to give a true picture of entrepreneurial women, and no one seems to have objected to the account he gives in Det...

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