Margaretha Meyboom, 1856-1927 (English)

Margaretha Anna Sophia Meyboom began to teach herself Danish at the age of seventeen, using a Danish grammar book and other Scandinavian books that she had found in her father’s library. She soon started translating stories from these books, which she sent to the daily newspaper Het Nieuws van den Dag, where they were published in serial form. And so a translator was born. Her first published translation, in 1880, was probably ‘Filia maris’ by the Danish writer Johanne Schjørring (1836-1910). Meyboom’s first translations appeared under the pseudonym Urda (a Nordic goddess of fate). Once she began translating entire books – the first, in 1891, was Judas by Tor Hedberg (1862-1931) – she published under her own name.
In all, Meyboom translated more than fifty works by Scandinavian authors. With the exception of the Swedish writers Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940) and Tor Hedberg (1862-1931), these were Danish and Norwegian authors. They included the Norwegians Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832-1910), Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Knut Hamsun (1860-1952), Alexander Kielland (1849-1906), and Arne Garborg (1851-1924), the Danes Carl Ewald (1856-1908) and Adda Ravnkilde (1862-1883), and many others. She introduced Dutch readers to modern ideas about literature and society espoused by Scandinavian writers such as Ibsen, Bjørnson, and Lagerlöf.

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