The Brides of Midsummer

The Brides of Midsummer

Vilhelm Moberg, translated by Gudrun Brunot

The first English translation of an early and important work by Vilhem Moberg.

For centuries, people have celebrated every Midsummer’s Eve at an ancient spring near a small Swedish village. On that special night, when unmarried men and women dance and some unusual activities are permitted, the Bridal Spring has special powers.

Vilhelm Moberg introduces four musicians on the last day that each one will ever know: a curmudgeonly fiddler from the 1930s, a sad and conscientious key-harp player from the plague era of 1711, a ne’er-do-well who plays the flute in 1545, and a goat-horn blower from prehistoric times who, like the others, only seeks happiness with a woman. Binding their stories together is the voice of the Bridal Spring itself, tart and grudgingly compassionate—and slow to reveal its secret.

Each progression backward in time reflects Moberg’s rich knowledge of folklore and shows the changes in everyday life in Sweden’s past. First published in 1946, before the Emigrants novels, The Brides of Midsummer is a complex, compelling journey through the arc of human life.

Vilhelm Moberg, Swedish author, playwright, and historian, was the author of the four-volume Emigrants series. Gudrun Brunot is a translator, vocal performer, and actor; she was born in Sweden and lives in Washington.

Available February 2014 from Minnesota Historical Society Press

$18.95 Paper, 176 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 978-0-87351-920-5

$12.99 e-book, 978-0-87351-935-9

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