Anna Hammar-Rosén was the publisher and editor of Hwad Nytt? Hwad Nytt? and she was part of Gothenburg’s 18th-century cultural scene.
Anna Hammar-Roséns exact date of birth remains uncertain but it is believed that she was born around 1735. She was the daughter of Anund Hammar, a parson, and his wife Elisabeth Maria Agrell. Anund Hammar was a man of the enlightenment and supporter of schools and of education for both girls and boys. It is probable that these approaches were applied at home. In 1759 Anna Hammar married Johan Rosén in Varberg. Johan Rosén, like his father-in-law, was a priest but also a writer, a lecturer and newspaper publisher. Anna Hammar and Johan Rosén had a son together, called Gustaf, who followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a priest and an author.
Anna Hammar Rosén’s husband was a feisty man who energetically proclaimed the importance of knowledge and the sciences in Gothenburg. He set up Götheborgska Magasinet in 1759 as a means to disseminate learned articles to the Gothenburg population. The magazine was followed by several other news projects. Anna Hammar-Rosén was probably involved in these. Just before he died Johan Rosén set up Hwad Nytt? Hwad Nytt?, a newspaper which carried the news as well as poetry. Anna Hammar-Rosén carried on publishing Hwad Nytt? Hwad Nytt? after her husband’s death and she thus became one of the first female newspaper editors in Sweden. As she also wrote for the paper she also became one of the first female journalists in Sweden. The newspaper was published during the period of 1772-1785, albeit irregularly so.
The newspaper played a role in Gothenburg’s cultural scene for several years, as did the various scientific and knowledgeable associations of which both Johan Rosén and Anna Hammar-Rosén were members. One of these associations later developed into what is today known as Kungliga Vetenskaps- och Vitterhetssamhället (royal society of arts and sciences) in Gothenburg.
It is difficult to obtain a clear picture of the practical process of publishing and editing the newspaper. The 1766 freedom of the press ordinance was revised during the 1770s and the authorities tightened their grip, making things more difficult for both editors and writers. This is revealed in Archbishop Jacob Axelsson Lindblom mentions of Anna Hammar-Rosén in a letter he wrote in 1779. The recipient was Daniel Melanderhielm, professor of astronomy at Uppsala. The contents of the letter express Lindblom’s belief that proscribed pages of Posten had been reprinted in the Gothenburg paper Hwad Nytt? Hwad Nytt? and that the publisher “of this daily paper, doctor Rosén, has been imprisoned”.
Anna Hammar-Rosén died in Gothenburg in 1805.