Lowenskold Ring

Selma Ottilia Lagerloef, Author
Selma Ottilia Lagerloef, Author Norvik Press $19.95 (125p) ISBN 978-1-870041-14-0
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In payment for his participation in Charles XII of Sweden's campaigns of the Great Northern War, Bengt of Lowenskold was awarded the rank of major general and the gaudy ring of the title. In due course, ``Big Bengt'' is interred with his trinket, but barely is he in the grave when the ring is taken for ``safekeeping'' by a local farmer, thereby setting the stage for the Nobel laureate's 1925 novel of long-held grudges and revenge. The ring, of course, is accursed, bringing the dead general's wrath upon both guilty and unwitting possessors alike until one woman's selfless love breaks the cycle. Like her Norwegian contemporary Sigrid Undset, Lagerlof returned to the Scandinavian past for her subjects but she also indulged in a taste for the fabulous. Here, as in her best-known work, Gosta Berling's Saga , the supernatural figures prominently. But with little of the descriptive sense that marks an historical work like Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter , this first installment of Lagerlof's trilogy is less a Scandinavian epic than a rather exotic ghost story. (Oct.)
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