Carolina von Platen was a writer and a translator. She contributed to the public debate surrounding gender roles during the 1800s.
Carolina von Platen was born in Linköping in 1816. Little is known of her background and upbringing. She married Lieutenant F. A. von Platen and appears to have settled in Stockholm as an adult. Her authorial debut came in the form of Evelina Reder: Också en tafla ur lifvet, published anonymously in 1841. This also formed a contribution to the ongoing public debate which had arisen following the publication of Carl Jonas Love Almqvist’s Det går an in 1839.
Carolina von Platen’s novel was published as part of the Lars Johan Hierta series Läsebibliotheket. The story recounts how the lead character, Evelina, is exploited by a young charmer called Albert. The couple at first live a life of luxury together, funded by Evelina. In the story parliament has decreed that ‘open’ marriages were legal and thus Albert never has to take responsibility for any marital obligations. Albert, as portrayed in the novel, is solely concerned with Evelina’s money, and rapidly works his way through it, spending it on expensive meals and other things. Once Albert has finally relieved Evelina of all she can provide for him he abandons her, leaving her to pine away and die, impoverished and heart-broken. The moral of the story was obvious: women lose out in open relationships.
Carolina von Platen’s critical view of the ‘open’ relationships for which Almqvist had made a case was shared by other women who wrote. Almqvist’s view of ‘free’ love entailed a freedom which only served men favourably.
20 years after releasing her story about Evelina Carolina von Platen translated a comedy about a marriage proposal set in Västergötland, this time published under the pseudonym of Dora Flink. She published one more novel, entitled Tip Floribus: roman i två kapitel, under another pseudonym, Thure Flink.
Carolina von Platen died at Konradsbergs hospital in Stockholm in 1871. She was 55 years old.