|Since my debut in 1988 I’ve written ten books. Below you can find details on some of them.
Poltava (”Poltava” – here the cover of the British soft cover edition is seen) depicts the fateful Battle of Poltava in June 1709 hour by hour, a catastrophe that cost some 10,000 lives and led to the fall of Sweden as a great power, and the subsequent rise of Russia. Not only the actions and mistakes of the generals are discussed here, but details are also included that make this historical event understandable and real: what was said to war-weary soldiers to get them to fight on, how you in practical terms fired a musket, how they dealt with the wounded and the dead, the different conditions under which the officers and other soldiers lived and other details of the everyday experience of war in the early 18th Century. It has been translated into eleven languages.
| Förflutenhetens landskap (”The Landscapes of the Past” – here the cover of the German edition is seen) is a collection of historical essays. The book contains answers to questions such as: Who murdered Charles XII? Which famous field-marshal thought that an elephant had made him pregnant? Why were women regarded as being more sexual beings than men during the 17th century? How did people wash their hair in the 18th century? For which reason did spring cleaning arise in the 19th century? The essays covers both the grand drama of the past, including battles, revolutions, and political assassinations, but even more so the more intimate side of history involving attitudes to loneliness, dirt, fear, darkness and much else. It has been translated into four languages.
|Ofredsår (”Years of Trouble” – here the cover of the German edition is seen) This is a big book about the chaotic 17th century in general and especially about the Thirty Years War, that pivotal event in the history of continental Europe – and also in the history of my own country: it was as a result of that conflict that Sweden emerged from being an insignificant state on the edge of Europe to becoming one of the major powers. Famous battles such as those of Breitenfeld, Lützen and the Swedish storming of Prague are depicted, but also a number of forgotten episodes, such as the remarkable retreat from Torgau. And amidst this bustling tapestry of large and small, the reader can follow the exploits of one historical figure, Erik Dahlbergh, the future artist, soldier and architect and his remarkable European adventures. The book has been translated into five languages. In 1993 the book won Swedens most prestigeous literary award, The August.|
|Brev från nollpunkten (”Letters from Ground Zero” – here the cover of the German edition is seen) is a collection of essays examines some of the darkest episodes of the 20th century. The essays cover the First World War, which is regarded as the start of that century and its primeval disaster, the Second World War, that proved to be equally catastrophic and destructive, plus experiences of totalitarianism in its Stalinist and Nazi forms. Here among other things you can read how Hitler and Stalin vied with each other to erect the world’s largest building, about the Holocaust and how one member of the SS tried to stop it. This book has been translated into five languges, and was short-listed for Swedens most prestigeous literary award, The August.|
|Den oövervinnerlige (”The Invincible One” – here the cover of the Finnish edition is seen) This book describes the 1650s, which was a very dark and tumultous decade in Eastern Europe, with revolution, internal discord and war sweeping the lands. It was also the culmination of Sweden’s period as a major power, with aggressive invasions of several neighbouring countries, not least Poland. Now these events have been forgotten by most save the experts. In Sweden we know the story of how the Swedish army in the face of all odds crossed the ice at the Great Belt, and brought Denmark to its knees. But who remembers the fact that once Sweden booked such success in battles and huge conquests, that people speculated about the Caspian Sea becoming the south-eastern border of the Swedish Empire? Apart from major political matters, apart from cultural history, and the tale of Erik Dahlberg’s continued journeyings through the 17th century, there is also a portrait of Charles X, who perhaps remains the most anonymous of the rulers during Sweden’s period of greatness, but who was at the same time the most dangerous and complex of these. It has been translated into three languages, perhaps understandable as it is some 800 pages long… In 2000 it was shortlisted for the the Swedish August award.|
|Tystnadens historia (”The History of Silence” – here the cover of the Swedish edition is seen). A collection of fourteen essays. They all cover some aspect of the history of culture or mentality. Most of these essays describes everyday matters from a historical perspective, not least objects that are so familiar to us that they have almost become invisible: spectacles, the paper clip, the screwdriver, and the toothbrush. Also phenomena such as silence, pain and boredom, which also have their own history. The book has been translated into five languages.|
|Silvermasken (”The Mask of Silver” – here the cover of the Czech edition). This is a concise biography of one of the most gifted and complex of monarchs of the 17th Century, Queen Christina. Although her time on the Swedish throne was but a short one, she left an indelible mark on Sweden, and after her sensational abdication and even more sensational conversion to catholicism she settled down in Rome, as active as ever. This book is not built up as an ordinary biography, but consists of short, non-chronological chapters. Quotations from the pen of the monarch have also been given plenty of space, to enable this remarkable woman to speak for herself and so that the usual clichés in descriptions of her from various epochs can be shed. The book has been translated into six languages.|