Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Book news: Royal biographies of 2011

It has been known for a while now that the author Ingar Sletten Kolloen, who was made an associate professor at the University College of Lillehammer last month, is writing an authorised biography of the Queen, which will be published by Gyldendal in the autumn of 2011.
The project is still shrouded in much secrecy, but at the meeting of the Biographic Society of Norway last night he told a little more about how he approaches the task. He says the book will in essence be the history of the development of the monarchy during the past fifty years and what role Queen Sonja has played in the modernisation of the monarchy will be at the heart of the story.
Ingar Sletten Kolloen has also written biographies of the author Tor Jonsson, of the psychic Joralf Gjærstad and two volumes on Knut Hamsun (a one-volume version has been translated into English and several other languages).
The theme of the meeting was the challenges and differences between writing biographies of the living and the dead. The historian Olav Njølstad, who is head of research at the Nobel Institute, also spoke about his forthcoming biographies of the war hero Leif Tronstad and former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.
At the meeting Tor Bomann-Larsen also told me that the fifth and penultimate volume of his biography of King Haakon VII and Queen Maud, which had been expected this autumn, has been postponed until the autumn of 2011.
Last week I also heard that Torbjörn Nilsson, professor of modern history at the University College of Södertörn, has put aside his projected biography of King Oscar II – something which a number of prospective biographers have done before him.

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