Regine Normann – Author with a sharp pen

By Bø Museum

 • Vesterålen

Regine Normann had political ambitions, and she wove socialist thoughts and ideas into her stories. In the book Stængt (1908) she tells the story of Sara who is the victim of a forced marriage. Sara suffers physical and mental abuse by her husband Olai. He wants her to serve God and to be subservient to her man. Normann gives a description of a “strange priest from further north”, a socialist priest that makes little mention of God, and even less of hell. Instead he speaks of love and respect, and encourages people to take care of each other. He “made poverty his own cause”. This priest publishes a magazine that Albert, a friend of Sara, subscribes to. The strictly religious, among them Olai, are offended by the magazine and advocate a very different world view: “No, it was the spirit of the age she was infected by. She had absorbed the words of our delinquent poets – That which an Ibsen, a Bjørnson professed, how far did she think it would carry her? Would it shield and guard her in her hour of despair? A life torn asunder, an empty soul, that was the fruit it would bear her… No hope, no thought of God and eternity. She must heed him! He was old and seasoned, and he saw the hollowness of art and literature.” After this effusion Sara leaves the house. Alone.

At Bø museum you can learn more about Regine Normann and her works.