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Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig

Grundtvig, Nikolai Frederik Severin (nĭkōlĪˈ frĭħˈərĭk sĕvərēnˈ grŏntˈvĭg) [key], 1783–1872, Danish educator, minister, and writer, founder of the Danish folk high school. He came into doctrinal conflict with church authorities and was forbidden to preach but was reinstated (1832) and became titular bishop (1861). In education Grundtvig stressed national history and literature. A champion of mass education, he was responsible for evolving a system of folk high schools that has aroused international interest. Grundtvig's many literary works include his epoch-making Northern Mythology (1808, rev. ed. 1832), which loosely retells the Old Norse myths. His poems and songs treat historical, mythological, and religious subjects. He was influential in reviving interest in Anglo-Saxon literature, and he translated Beowulf into Danish (1820). Svend Grundtvig, the folklorist, was his son.

See studies by H. Koch (tr. 1952), J. Knudsen (1955), and E. D. Nielsen (1955).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Scandinavian Literature: Biographies


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