Zachris Topelius

Article

January 19, 2022

Zacharias (Zachris, Sakari) Topelius (January 14, 1818 in Uusikaarlepyy, Finland - March 12, 1898 in Sipoo) was a Finnish writer, poet, journalist, historian and rector of the University of Helsinki. He wrote in Swedish. Zachris Topelius was officially named Zacharias like his father. He himself used the abbreviation Z. or the name Zachris as his first name, also in official contexts. The Finnish name Sakari has often been used as Topelius' first name.

Biography

Zachris Topelius was born on the Kuddnäs farm near Uuttakaarlepyy in 1818. His father was Catharina Sofia Calamnius, the eldest and mother's wealthy merchant daughter, Zacharias Topelius, a doctor and collector of folk poetry. His grandfather was a church painter, Mikael Toppelius. as a journalist and the circulation of the magazine soon began to rise. Topelius was editing the magazine until 1860. In 1854 he was appointed extraordinary personal professor of Finnish history at the University of Helsinki, in 1863 he became professor of Finnish, Russian and Nordic history, and in 1876 professor of general history, where he held until 1878. From 1875 to 1878, Topelius was also the rector of the university. In 1870, he was the founder of Finland's first animal welfare association, Maj Föreningen, whose main site of protection was small birds. They had six children, Toini, Aina and Eva, Rafael, Mikael and Rosa, three of whom died at a young age. Well-known of the children were the author Toini Topelius and the painter Eva Topelius, later Acke. The librarian, author Paul Nyberg, was the son of Topelius' eldest daughter, Always Sofia Topelius (1846–1916). In 1897, Topelius became a doctor of joy. He died on March 12, 1898 on the Koivuniemi farm in Östersundom.

Production

Topelius was one of the earliest Finnish novelists. Her work Hertiginnan af Finland (Finnish Duchess, 1874), published in 1850, was the first Finnish historical novel. More well-known is, however, Topelius' historical novel series Fältskärns berättelser. The theme of Välskär's stories was the long-running power struggle between the nobility and the peasants, which promoted the freedom of society. Topelius wrote poems from an early age. However, most of his youth poems were not published in collections, but only in the collection series Samlade skriften, which was published only from 1899 onwards. Topelius published some of his poems on the Necken album, but his first collection of poems was Heather Blossoms (Ljungblommor, 1845). The second part was published in 1850 and the third in 1854. Topelius is known for his works depicting Finnish landscapes, such as the poem “Summer Day in Kangasala”, which belongs to the Sylvia Songs series. Topelius' production is also “Sparrow on Christmas Morning” (Sparven på julmorgonen). Topelius participated in the work of the hymnal committee established in 1853. When Johan Ludvig Runeberg resigned from the committee in 1863, Topelius was appointed to replace him. He also chaired the Swedish Hymn Committee. The Finnish-language hymnbook of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (1896) contains five hymns written by him, such as Hymns No Power, Gold, Glory (Hymn 31), and Spirit of Truth (Hymn 484) and Food.

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