Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon

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Maria Charlotta Öberg

18181856-06-21

Author, poet

Charlotta Öberg was a poet who was known as Lotta Öberg.

Charlotta Öberg was born in Stockholm in 1818. Her family was extremely poor. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a charwoman and servant who worked in the homes of the bourgeoisie. Charlotta Öberg was such a poorly child that she was unable to attend school. She nevertheless educated herself by reading the neighbouring boy’s text-books and shortly thereafter she began to compose poems. The author Wilhelmina Stålberg’s biography of Charlotta Öberg, written for the 1864 Anteckningar om svenska qvinnor, says that Charlotta Öberg's poverty was so extreme that she did not even have paper to write her poetry on and instead she wrote them on “waste paper from hawkers’ stalls or cartouche-paper from the tobacco stall”. Stålberg also writes that the definitive turning point in Charlotte Öberg’s life came when her mother made her read out her poems during a party held at one of the upper-class homes where her mother worked. A certain Count Wetterstedt (presumably Gustaf af Wetterstedt, a member of the academy) was impressed by the quality of Charlotta Öberg’s poems and took her under his wing. She was sent to school, gained academic qualifications, and was given the opportunity to write.

Charlotta Öberg’s patron had three pamphlets of her work published between 1834 and 1841, all entitled Lyriska dikter. A small pamphlet containing a long poem dedicated to the muse of poets, Polyhymnia, was also published. It resembles a poem of thanksgiving: “Och jag, den ringa blomma född i dalen,/ Som flyttad blef af milda händer borrt,/ I bättre jodmån från de bittra qvalen” (“and I a modest flower born in the valley, was removed by gentle hands, and placed in better soil far from bitter suffering”).

Charlotta Öberg used the pen-name of Lotta Öberg. The publication of her first pamphlet caused a sensation. Amongst those who took an interest in the fate of the young writer was one Marianne Ehrensvärd, a lady of the royal court, who sent a letter to Fredrika Bremer requesting that she provided support to Charlotta Öberg. Despite this Bremer rejected her brusquely.

Charlotta Öberg died in 1856, aged only 38.


Lisbeth Larsson
(Translated by Alexia Grosjean)


Published 2018-03-08



You are welcome to cite this article but always provide the author’s name as follows:

Maria Charlotta Öberg, www.skbl.se/sv/artikel/CharlottaOberg, Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexikon (article by Lisbeth Larsson), retrieved 2020-07-09.




Other Names

    Nickname: Lotta


Family Relationships

Civil Status: Unmarried
  • Mother: Uppgifter saknas
  • Father: Uppgifter saknas


Education

  • Självstudier, Stockholm: Självstudier med grannpojkens böcker
  • Flickskola, Stockholm: Borgerlig fostran vid pension


Activities

  • Profession: Författare, poet


Contacts

  • Friend: Marianne Ehrensvärd
  • Friend: Gustaf af Wetterstedt


Residences

  • Birthplace: Stockholm
  • Stockholm
  • Place of death: Stockholm


Sources

Literature
  • Burman, Carina, Bremer: en biografi, Bonnier, Stockholm, 2001



Further References