Augusta's Journey

Mrs. Brandt, the seamstress who left few threads to follow

Mrs. Brandt, the seamstress who left few threads to follow

Today, on the International Women’s Day, I thought about Mrs. Brandt. A sought-after seamstress who didn’t leave many historical threads to follow. All her handiwork is long gone – dresses and shirts all worn out. The only traces of her are a few sentences in Augusta’s diary and in letters between Augusta and her mother Anna. Mrs. Brandt in Augusta’s diary and correspondence Mrs. Brandt […]

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The girl in the yellow ball gown: Elisabeth Schwan

The girl in the yellow ball gown: Elisabeth Schwan

Who was Elisabeth Schwan? Last week, I wrote about Augusta’s lieutenants – the ones she met at balls, theatres, and concerts. The image for the blog was a painting of Lieutenant Bergenstråhle dancing with a girl in a yellow ball gown. The painter, Fritz von Dardel, had “tagged” her as E. Schwan. In another painting, von Dardel also included her and tagged her as Elisabeth […]

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Fritz von Dardel paints Augusta’s lieutenants – and tags them

Fritz von Dardel paints Augusta’s lieutenants – and tags them

I was actually going to write about Augusta’s first love. Then I got curious about all the young men who were interested in her. In 1845, Augusta was 18 and her admirers, who had just started their military careers, were in their late 20s. Augusta and her best friend Lotten Westman met them at balls, theatres, and concerts. After Augusta left Stockholm, Lotten wrote letters […]

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Who was Tante Cordier?

Who was Tante Cordier?

Last week, I wrote about the time before sidewalks, about winter in Stockholm, and how nice it was when the dirty slush in the streets froze. Augusta’s friend Lotten had described it in a letter to Augusta. Lotten also wrote about taking a walk with the lovely Tante Cordier. Who was she? I don’t remember having seen that name before in any of Lotten’s letters […]

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New in the 1840s: Sidewalks in Stockholm

New in the 1840s: Sidewalks in Stockholm

Augusta’s friend, Lotten Westman, was an orphan. She and her younger sister Clara lived with a Mademoiselle Hellberg in Stockholm. The house was located at the intersection of two streets: Klara Norra Kyrkogata and Mäster Samuelsgatan. What did the house look like? Would there be any paintings or drawings of the house? Or a photograph – even if it was taken years later? Stockholm has […]

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