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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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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Two Dresses in Parramatta and a Book about Domestic Life

Two Dresses in Parramatta and a Book about Domestic Life

Stockholm, 22 January 1846. My own beloved Augusta! Thank you, thank you, my good friend for your last letter, even though I had to wait quite some time to get it. But I will not scold you, only thank you so much for your last letter. I should probably start by thanking you for your good wishes for the new year. I thank you for […]

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