Author Archives: Erik Gustaf Geijer

Living: 1783 - 1847

Place of birth: Ransäters bruk, Värmland

Erik Gustaf Geijer was a Swedish writer, poet, philosopher, historian and composer. He was one of the greatest aestheticians and innovators of the Swedish Romantic period. He is considered one of the fathers of Swedish nationalism, and after 1838 he also became an important proponent of liberalism.

Geijer was professor of history at Uppsala University from 1817 and became a member of the Swedish Academy in 1824. He was also Rector of Uppsala University in 1822, 1830, 1836 and 1843-1844. As a representative of the University, he was a member of the clergy at the Parliaments of 1828-1830 and 1840-1841. He was also a member of the Götiska Verband, where he was editor of its journal Iduna. He was also a member of the Svea Orden.

Geijer himself writes about his areas of interest: "I have been engaged in five things - eagerly, if not successfully - philosophy, history, eloquence, poetry and music. - These are the five fingers of my hand, which I have practised in honest craftsmanship and of which I do not wish to give up any."

Geijer helped bring conservatism to the Swedish political debate. He also contributed to the abolition of slavery in the then Swedish colony of Saint-Barthélemy, influenced Nathan Söderblom and Einar Billing with his theology, and was a pioneer with his "I-Thou" philosophy. The Nordic Family Book writes that it was Geijer who made it possible for liberalism to enter Sweden without the revolutionary upheavals that occurred in France, and that he created a somewhat Swedish form of liberalism