Etikettarkiv: Edholm

4. Laetitia (Letty) Backman (Norman) and the Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre (Gustavianska Operahuset)

The theatre was a magical place. It was a world like no other. Letty loved the times she was allowed to come with her father to the theatre. Later in life, when she reflected on her happy childhood, there was one memory that stood out. It would have been in 1839 because she remembered that she was almost 12 years old.

Her father, the director of the Royal Theatre, had just returned home from a visit to the Royal Palace. He was in a great mood and had asked if she wanted to see a final rehearsal at the theatre the following day. The opera, Robert of Normandy, was to open in two days.

The next day, she and her father arrived at the Royal Theatre and her father introduced her to the women performers. She remembered the opera singers, Mathilda Gelhaar, Jenny Lind, and Mina Fundin, the actress Charlotta Almlöf, and the ballerinas, Sophie Daguin and Adolfina Fägerstedt. They were so friendly and lively. They were not stodgy like the women who would come to visit her mother. And oh, were they beautiful! The only disappointment, and surprise, was that they did not wear their costumes at the dress rehearsal. She had so much looked forward to seeing the women’s dresses.

Letty got to choose where to sit, and she picked the first row on one of the balconies. She could see her father walk around on stage in his slippers, talking to the actors. Then the curtains closed and in the dim light from the oil lamps in the large chandelier, she waited. She could see the orchestra getting ready and the conductor looking out over the musicians and their shiny instruments. Robert of Normandy was an opera in five acts by composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. He had named the opera, Robert le Diable, but in Stockholm, they had given it a different name.

As the conductor raised his baton, the music started and the main curtain was raised. The illuminated stage revealed a beautifully painted backdrop. And on stage was a group of men. One of them was supposed to be Robert, but it wasn’t obvious who it was as they were still in their regular clothes. She remembered the chills when they started singing. Oh, could they sing! Letty forgot her disappointment that they were not in costume because it didn’t matter. She was mesmerized. If she only had the talent, she would love to work at the theatre when she grew up.

Watching Robert of Normandy became one of her most cherished childhood memories. Maybe because it was the first opera she saw at the theatre, and maybe it was because she felt like she had been part of the theatre family.

Many years later, when she saw Jenny Lind, who had become an international sensation, she remembered Lind’s performance as Alice in Robert of Normandy. It had been one of Jenny Lind’s first major performances.

Laetitia (Letty) Charlotta Juliania Backman

Letty Backman was listed as number 4 of the girls who got confirmed in St Jacob’s church. That should have been no surprise as her father was a colonel, an adjutant to King Carl XIV Johan, and the Director of the Royal Theatre (the opera house in Stockholm).

Letty was born on 11 July 1827 to Alexis Backman (1794-1871) and Lovisa Christina Strömbäck (1797-1873). She had a 2-year younger brother, named Alexis after his father. In 1844, when Letty was attending confirmation classes, the family lived at Mäster Samuels Gränd No. 48. That was two houses away from where Augusta’s friend Lotten lived. Letty’s father’s last year as director of the theatre was in 1844. The same year, Alexis Backman became the Postal Inspector in the town of Gävle, and the family left Stockholm.

Two years later, on October 12, 1846, Letty married Carl Magnus Norman in Gävle. Carl Magnus was born in Falun but was a wholesale merchant in Gävle. Carl Magnus and his older brother August were both in the business of trade, but Carl Magnus seemed to have embraced more risky businesses. He was even described as a swindler. In 1849, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and many, included his brother who had lent him large amounts for his lofty businesses, were affected by the bankruptcy.

In 1857, Letty, Carl Magnus, and their one-year-old daughter Lilia (Lilli) moved to Stockholm. They were doing well and got an apartment at a prestigious address – the corner of Drottninggatan and Karduansmakaregränd, just a few blocks from the Royal Theatre. I can imagine Letty’s excitement about that move! She was back home, and she was still young, only 30 years old.

She would raise her children here, and someday, when they were old enough, she could take them to the theatre.

Little Lilia Blenda was born in 1856. Then came Carl Justus, born in 1859, followed by Alexis in 1867, and Anna Laeticia in 1869. By that time, they had moved to Nya Kungsholmsbrogatan 23, which was just kitty-corner to their old home.

In 1884, Carl Magnus died at the age of 68. He had been ill for some time and the cause of death was recorded as an organic heart defect. Letty died 9 years later, in 1893, and at the age of 65.

Augusta’s acquaintance, Erik Edholm, Theatre Director Alexis Backman, and Sophie Daguin. Drawing by Fritz von Dardel


Letty’s father, Alexis Backman, Postal Inspector in Gävle


Alexis Backman, gouache painting, 1850



Plays performed at the Royal Theatre during 1839-1840:

About the actresses at the Royal Theatre:

About Robert le Diable:

An interesting and entertaining piece about the Royal Theatre (in Swedish):

About theatre contracts and women’s theatrical costumes (in Swedish):

In the 1830s, women actresses were supposed to provide their own costumes for contemporary plays. Wearing the latest fashion was therefore important but costly for the underpaid actresses. Some actresses, like Sophie Daguin and Emilie Högqvist, became mistress to wealthy men, which helped with their expenses. The following thesis (in Swedish) deals with the topics of theatre contracts and the history of theatrical costume in Sweden:

A memoir by a Swedish actress (in Swedish):

Henriette Wideberg: En skådespelerskas minnen.

About Carl Magnus Norman and his businesses (in Swedish):


Additional Sources (contemporary diaries):

Letty was a good friend of Marie-Louise Forsell, who kept a detailed diary which was published posthumously. Letty is often at Marie-Louise’s house and in the company of some of the other girls in the confirmation class.

Heijkenskjöld, Syster, ed. 1915. Sällskapslif och hemlif i Stockholm på 1840-talet: ur Marie-Louise Forsells dagboksanteckningar. Stockholm: Bonnier.   (Translation of title: Social Life and Home Life in Stockholm in the 1840s: From Marie-Louise Forsell’s Diary Notes).


Lotten Ulrich, who lived at the Royal Palace, describes in her diary how Alexis Backman invited her and her family to attend the rehearsal of Robert of Normandy. Much of what I imagine Letty would have experienced, if she indeed had been invited, is from Lotten Ulrich’s diary. Lotten and her family were also invited to see the premiere of the opera two days later.

In addition, Lotten describes how Alexis Backman lent them props for their own theatre productions at the palace. He seems to have been a very jovial person.

Östman, Margareta. 2015. Systrarna Ulrichs dagböcker – från Stockholms slott, Djurgården och landsorten 1830-1855. Stockholm: Carlssons.   (Translation of title: The Ulrich Sisters’ Diaries – from Stockholm’s Palace, Djurgården, and the Countryside 1830-1855).



20. Virginia Sophie Augusta Carlsson (Daguin) – Parents Unknown?

Was Virginia nervous on that Sunday when Pastor Petterson opened the doors to the new class of 92 girls who would be studying with him? Did she arrive alone, or did she walk in with some friends? Was her secret known by the other girls who were gathering? She must have assumed that Pastor Petterson knew. But were there rumors? And if they knew, would she be treated like a celebrity, or would she be shunned?

When I decided to get to know the girls in Augusta’s confirmation class of 1844, I thought I should limit it to the top 20 girls based on Pastor Petterson’s perception of their social status. He had ranked the girls based on their family names and their fathers’ professions. But girl number 20 did not belong to the aristocracy or any of the well-known merchant families in Stockholm. She had a most common name, Carlsson, and her father was not listed. Why was she listed as number 20 out of the 92 girls?

Who was Virginia Sofia Augusta Carlsson?

I started with the church records of baptism in Klara parish in Stockholm, the parish the pastor had written above her name. I knew that Virginia Sofia Augusta Carlsson was born on March 9, 1827, so I looked for the baptisms in 1827. The records of baptisms were separated into two series of books – one for legitimate and one for illegitimate children. That is, one for children whose parents were married and one for children born out of wedlock. Virginia did not appear in the book for legitimate children but I found her in the book for illegitimate children. She was baptized the day after her birth, and her parents were listed as “not reported” (Swedish: oangivna). The age of the mother, however, was recorded as 25.

Record of Virginia’s baptism in 1827.

I then looked for her in the census records and found her in the census for 1870, when she was 43 years old. She was living with a former teacher at the Royal Theatre, Sophie Daguin.

Sophie Daguin! Reading about her was like finding the key to why Virginia Carlsson was listed among the top 20 girls in the confirmation class. And it blew wide open the case of Virginia’s missing parents.

Who was Sophie Daguin?

I will skip all the twists and turns in church records, census records, and newspapers, and get straight to the story of Sophie.

Sophie Marguérite Daguin was born in Paris in 1801. At the age of 8, she was getting ballet lessons. A few years later, she was accepted as a student at the Grand Opera in Paris.

Ballet at the Paris Opera. Edgar Degas, 1877.

In 1815, at the age of 14, she signed a contract with the Royal Theatre in Stockholm and traveled to Stockholm in the company of two young male dancers. She became a celebrated ballerina. She also choreographed ballets and became the Ballet Master at the theatre. When she retired from dancing in 1843, she continued to teach ballet and became the principal of the theatre’s ballet school.

Augusta’s acquaintance, Erik Edholm, Theatre Director Backman, and Sophie Daguin. Drawing by Fritz von Dardel

The social life and challenges of women performers

A performer – a ballerina or an actress – in the 1800s was disrespected in Society. Women were brought up to become wives and mothers. And they were defenseless against the men they worked for, or with, and their powerful and wealthy friends. One of those powerful men was the Crown Prince, Oscar, who later became King Oscar I.

One of Sophie’s close friends was a younger, equally celebrated, actress at the Royal Theatre, Emilie Högquist. She had three illegitimate children, the last two fathered by Crown Prince Oscar.

So it was no surprise to find that Sophie had five illegitimate children. There were rumors that Crown Prince Oscar had fathered the third child. These rumors were never substantiated, but it is of course possible as the child was born years before his affair with Emilie Högquist.

All of Sophie’s children were given the last name of Carlsson:

Edvard Isidor Joseph, b. 1823
Virginia Sophia Augusta, b. 1827
Julie Adelaide Carlsson b. 1831
Hildur Carolina, b. 1838
Carl Arthur, b. 1841

In 1832 Sophie was granted the right to be legally independent, that is, not to have a male guardian. She never married and never acknowledged in the census records that the persons living in her household with the last name Carlsson were her children. Having a child out of wedlock was a crime and the pastors who had baptized her children had been nice enough to omit both parents’ names. But, of course, the pastors and her friends would have known that those were her children. However, in 1851, there is an annotation in the margin of one of the church records that the children’s mother was Sophie Daguin.

Back to Virginia Carlsson

There is no information about Virginia’s childhood. Who raised her and her siblings? Her mother, maids, foster parents? In the census records for 1835, none of the children were listed as living with their mother. In 1845, three of the children, but not Virginia or Carl Arthur, were living with their mother. But Virginia was at least living in Stockholm in 1844 as she attended the confirmation class.

Virginia never married but supported herself as a foreign language teacher. I assume that she taught French as her mother was French. She died in 1899 at the age of 71 from chronic heart disease.

So why was she among the top 20 girls, according to Pastor Petterson? Did he know who her father was? Or was it because her mother was a celebrity? Or were there some royal connections?

We will never know.



Bernhardsson, P. I privat och offentligt. Undervisningen i moderna språk i Stockholm 1800–1880. Studier i utbildnings- och kultursociologi 9.256 pp. Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. ISBN 978-91-554-9666-1 (2016)

Nordin Hennek, I. Mod och försakelser. Livs- och yrkesbetingelser för Konglig Theaterns skådespelerskor 1813-1863. Gidlunds. Södertälje (1997)

Featured Image: Ballet Rehearsal, Edgar Degas, 1873.


Tableau Vivant and Olof Södermark

Last week, Kerstin shared the travel diary of 10-year old Ernst Salomon. In the summer of 1841, Ernst and his family were visiting Särö, a fashionable spa on the Swedish west coast. In his diary, he describes the activities at the spa. Besides the bathing, they went for walks, picked seashells, and went horseback riding. In the evenings, the guests took turns hosting dinners and entertainment. There was usually a program of music and singing or dancing. They also played parlor games. One of those was Tableau Vivant. This was a common parlor game in the 1800s and is described in several diaries and letters from this time.

Tableau Vivant

Tableau Vivant was something like Charades. In Charades, a person will silently act out a word for the other persons to guess. In Tableau Vivant, the actor/actors will stage a scene from a play or a book or a poem or of a famous painting. The audience then has to figure out what the scene depicts.

Rosalie Roos, who was born in Sweden in 1823 and traveled to the USA in 1851 to become a governess, describes in her memoir how she introduced this game to the family she worked for and how much fun they had in searching for costumes and props to create the tableaux vivants.

The Tableau Vivant at Särö in 1841

Back to Ernst Salomon and his diary. On the 5th of August, Ernst wrote:

“Beautiful weather. In the evening, Baroness Berzelius, Mrs. Edholm, and Countess Virsén hosted le goûter (the tasting; dinner). Between the dances, 6 tableaux vivants were performed that were pretty successful. They were:

  1. A Scene from Lalla Rookh
  2. Candlelight by Rembrandt
  3. Pastoral Concert by Södermark
  4. Fortuneteller scene by Teniers
  5. A Scene from The Pirate by Walter Scott
  6. Saint Cecilia by Carlo Dolci

The 6th one featured spiritual singing behind the curtains.”

First, I was amazed at the choices for this quiz-type game. If you belonged to the class who visited this spa, these were the authors and painters you were supposed to be familiar with. And even 10-year-old Ernst thought the game was a success.

I decided to find the images that they were supposed to stage. Here it goes:

1. A Scene from Lalla Rookh

Lalla Rookh was a very long poem written by Thomas Moore in 1817. It was a romantic, orientalist tale about a Mughal princess. The poem was very popular in the early 1800s.

Lalla Rookh

2. Candlelight by Rembrandt

I assume that this could have been Rembrandt’s painting of a student at a table by candlelight


Student at a Table by Candlelight. Rembrandt, 1642.


3. Pastoral Concert by Södermark

Let’s skip this one to the last.

4. Fortune-teller Scene by Teniers

David Teniers the Younger painted a lot of fortune-teller scenes, but they were all similar.

Mountain Landscape with a Gypsy Fortuneteller. David Teniers II. 1644-1690.

4. A Scene from The Pirate by Walter Scott

Walter Scott wrote The Pirate in 1822. It was translated to Swedish in 1827. I should probably add it to my reading list.

The Pirate. Illustration from the 1879 edition.

5. Saint Cecilia by Carlo Dolci

Saint Cecilia at the Organ. Carlo Dolci, 1671.

3. Pastoral Concert by Södermark

So let me return to Number 3, Pastoral Concert (Swedish: Landtlig Concert) av Olof Södermark.

Olof Södermark was a fantastic Swedish portrait painter. He had painted members of the royal family, and he was in high demand by the Swedish elite. He had also studied with the premier portraiture painter in Europe, Franz Xaver Winterhalter. In the fall of 1841, he would return to Sweden from Rome and settle down to do portraits. Within the next two years (1842-1843), he would actually paint the husbands of two of the women who had hosted the dinner and the tableau vivant. Baroness Berzelius’s husband was the famous chemist, Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Mrs. Edholm’s husband was Erik af Edholm, the king’s private doctor.

Jöns Jacob Berzelius painted by Olof Södermark 1843
Erik af Edholm painted by Södermark 1842

But did Södermark also paint landscapes and other genres? The problem with Södermark is that only a few of his paintings are in museums or other public places – portraits like those of the royal family or of famous people like Jenny Lind. To find his other works, one has to look for what has been sold at auctions.

The only “landscape” painting I have found is Fishing on the Pier (Swedish: Fiske på bryggan), painted in 1838.  I would love to learn about the history of this painting. Who are the people in the painting?

Fishing on the Pier. Painting by Olof Södermark 1838

I am sure he also painted “A Pastoral Concert”, but how would I search for it? Google is of no help. I decide to search for Södermark in Swedish newspapers between 1832 and 1838. Maybe someone would have written about the painting?

Bingo! A journalist (Orvar Odd) at Aftonbladet wrote about the paintings exhibited at the Salon of The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in 1838. Södermark had 3 paintings accepted.

”Mr. Södermark is exhibiting 3 paintings; two portraits and a genre painting showing three children, the oldest being a girl playing the mandolin, the next one playing castanets, and the youngest, a boy with curly hair, using all his strength blowing into a bagpipe. It is a charming piece, this last one. The shapes and the colors are so southern European and opulent, full and glowing, it’s alive, it’s vibrant! Mr. S. undoubtedly possesses, to a greater degree than any of our other painters in his genre, the art of making his characters come alive.”

This has to be ”A Pastoral Concert” and as he painted it in Rome, the scene is probably from Italy. I do wish I could still find an image of the painting. I did find another small painting he did in Rome – a sweet painting of two Italian girls.

Roman Girls by Olof Södermark

Going back to the Tableaux Vivants, I wish someone could have described how they staged these six scenes. Maybe they were common scenes for this form of entertainment – pretty easy to stage: An exotic princess, a student with a candle, 3 children playing some instruments, a fortune-teller, a pirate, and a saint. I wonder what paintings or books or films we would pick today for this game?

Erik W. af Edholm’s Diaries

The elusive diaries at Stockholm City Archives

He had found them!

He had actually found Erik W. af Edholm’s original diaries from 1843-1848!

Half an hour earlier, the archivist at Stockholm City Archives had told me that the family Edholm’s archive took up several yards of shelf-space and with the diaries not specifically cataloged, I could look forward to spending weeks looking through boxes of random family memorabilia. The diaries would probably be in one of those boxes.

“Can you please check if there is anything on those shelves that would indicate that the materials should have been sealed until the year 2000,” I ask the helpful guy who is carting up boxes from the vaults below.

Maybe the diaries were boxed separately since they were not to be read until the year 2000?

”Maybe there is something written on a box that would indicate that? I could come with you and help you look,” I suggest with a smile.

“Nope, sorry, you can’t. But I’ll see what I can find,” he promises me.

And now, half an hour later, he has found them! Two boxes, tied with strong brown string, containing the diaries I had been looking for.

The box containing Erik’s diaries

Did Augusta really socialize with Erik af Edholm? Who else did?

I probably need to explain my quest for these elusive diaries.

It all goes back to Augusta’s admirers; that is, admirers according to her best friend Lotten Westman.

“I saw all your admirers at Gunther’s concert last Tuesday – Bergenstråhle, Löwegren, Edholm, etc, etc., as I believe there is a multitude of them.”
(Lotten to Augusta, Stockholm, October 1845)

Earlier this year, I blogged about these four young lieutenants: Knut Bergenstråhle, Ludvig Löwegren, Erik W. af Edholm, and Gillis Bildt.

But how would I know if Augusta really socialized with them? Could that be corroborated by other sources? Would they figure in other published diaries from the same time period?

The answer is yes, at least with regards to Erik af Edholm. Maybe because he seemed to have been very social and well-liked.

My first source is Marie-Louise Forsell, a contemporary, well-connected, young woman who kept diaries which were published posthumously. She writes about Erik who she met at Holmqvist’s ball:

 “Lieutenant Edholm really liked our dark-grey silk gowns and he was the only new one with whom we danced.” (27 March 1843)

Additionally, two sisters, Lotten and Edla Ulrich, whose diaries were recently published by Margareta Östman, also write about Erik. But their description of him is that of a friend or a brother as the two families were close friends. Eric af Edholm’s father was King Carl XIV Johan’s private doctor. The father of Lotten and Edla was the King’s private secretary. Both families lived in the royal palace and the Ulrich and af Edholm children grew up together.

Erik also kept a diary

But then I found out that Erik also kept a diary! He wrote almost daily between the age of 23 (1840) and until his death in 1897.

After a happy dinner at Djurgården 13 August 1844. Erik af Edholm is the fellow falling off the carriage. Drawing by F. Dardel.

In 1944, Erik’s son published selected parts of the diaries from the time period 1840-1859 in a book called “Svunna Dagar” (Days Gone By). The book is fascinating. Every year, from January through March, there were balls. Some weeks, Erik was invited to private balls every day. With a sense of humor and sometimes self-sarcasm, he describes his social life. But he also describes, always in positive ways, his dance partners. One particular favorite was Mathilda Horn, whose father was the governor of the province of Stockholm (Landshövding):

“Miss Mathilda was charming in a white dress with a collar of lace tied around her delicate neck with an enviable blue ribbon. The hair framed her beautiful forehead with long, brown curls and her eyes shone with tenderness and goodness.” (17 January 1843)

Now, if Erik knew Augusta and they went to the same balls, would he have written anything about her? That was what I wanted to know.

Diaries from 1845 and 1846

With white cotton gloves, I open the box of diaries from 1843-1848. Inside the box are small bound notebooks. I open the diary for 1845. That is when Augusta was 18. She later described how happy she was that year, dancing to Strauss waltzes and forgetting everything else around her.

Did she dance with Erik in 1845?

The diary is written in cursive with an ink pen. The font size, if it had existed, would be a 6. That is pretty hard to read! The best strategy is to take pictures with my iPhone and then look at the images on my computer screen when I get home.

In addition, the diary is written in French!

A typical page in the diary.

It will take some time to go through all the images of Erik’s diaries. And some brushing up of my French.  At least, the penmanship is good.

But I check one thing. Did Erik attend Gunther’s concert that Lotten wrote about in her letter?

He did!

“…Puis je vais au concert Gunther dans l’église Ladugårdsgärde…” (14 October 1845)

And to corroborate that, I read the Stockholm newspaper that reported on the concert. It was a farewell concert by the famous Swedish tenor, Julius Günther, who often sang together with Jenny Lind. Julius Günther was to move to Paris. The concert drew a crowd of over 1000 and was very well received.


Heijkenskjöld, Syster, ed. 1915. Sällskapslif och hemlif i Stockholm på 1840-talet: ur Marie-Louise Forsells dagboksanteckningar. Stockholm: Bonnier.   (Translation of title: Social Life and Home Life in Stockholm in the 1840s: From Marie-Louise Forsell’s Diary Notes).

Östman, Margareta. 2015. Systrarna Ulrichs dagböcker – från Stockholms slott, Djurgården och landsorten 1830-1855. Stockholm: Carlssons.   (Translation of title: The Ulrich Sisters’ Diaries – from Stockholm’s Palace, Djurgården, and the Countryside 1830-1855).

Erik af Edholm. 1944. Svunna dagar – ur Förste Hovmarskalken Erik af Edholms dagböcker: Tidsbilder från 1800-talet utgivna av hans son. Stockholm: P. A. Nordstedt Söners Förlag. (Translation of title: Days gone by –  from the First Marshal at the Court, Erik af Edholm’s Diaries: Vignettes from the 1800s published by his son.)

Fritz von Dardel paints Augusta’s lieutenants – and tags them

I was actually going to write about Augusta’s first love. Then I got curious about all the young men who were interested in her. In 1845, Augusta was 18 and her admirers, who had just started their military careers, were in their late 20s. Augusta and her best friend Lotten Westman met them at balls, theatres, and concerts. After Augusta left Stockholm, Lotten wrote letters which included the latest gossip.

Gossip about Bergenstråhle, Löwegren, Edholm, and Bildt.

Lotten to Augusta, Stockholm, October 1845

”I saw all your admirers at Gunther’s concert last Tuesday – Bergenstråhle, Löwegren, Edholm, etc, etc., as I believe there is a multitude of them. Do you know, I made a startling discovery that Knut Bergenstråhle has ”moonlight” on top of his head. I sat on the balcony, thus high above them all, and made that little discovery. Lieutenant Löwegren looks like ”world contempt and bitterness” when you see him out on town and I think he has become completely transparent tout pour nous.”

Lotten to Augusta, Stockholm, 18 December 1845

Sketch of couples on their way to a masquerade ball. Fritz von Dardel 1842.
Sketch of couples on their way to a masquerade ball. Fritz von Dardel 1842.

”All your admirers, the Bergenstråhles, Löwegren, Bildt, and God only knows the rest of them, were at the masquerade ball at Carlberg and {unreadable verb} the masked ones. They themselves were not wearing masks; it would have been a shame to put masks on such beautiful faces.”

Lotten to Augusta, Stockholm, 7 April 1847.

”Lieutenant Bergenstråhle was at Ekströms and I had the honor to “gallop” with Lieutenant Knut. Lieutenant Löwegren was also there. Seriously, I like him and he looks rather handsome.”

Fritz von Dardel paints the social scenes

What did these young lieutenants look like?

Enter Fritz von Dardel.

Von Dardel was a contemporary, well-connected nobleman who had a passion for drawing and painting social scenes. He was the same age as Augusta’s lieutenants and attended the same social events. In a world before cameras, he recorded the events in sketches and paintings. Many times he included himself in the painting. And he was ahead of his time by tagging people in his paintings by writing their names in the margins.

In the picture below, Augusta’s friend Lieutenant Edholm is the young man in the middle (as tagged).

The Coronation Ball Given by the Nobles, 16 Oct 1844. Painting by Fritz von Dardel. Lieutenant Erik af Edholm is dancing with the voluptuous woman in the middle.


In the picture below, Augusta’s friend Knut Bergenstråhle is the young lieutenant holding the hand of the young girl dressed in yellow. Did Augusta attend this ball?

The Amaranth Ball, 6 January 1845. Painting by Fritz von Dardel. Knut Bergenstråhle is the young lieutenant in the middle.
The Amaranth Ball, 6 January 1845. Painting by Fritz von Dardel. Knut Bergenstråhle is the young lieutenant in the middle.

Fritz von Dardel also painted Lieutenant Löwegren as he was playing piano at some social gathering.

Ludvig Löwegren by Fritz von Dardel
Ludvig Löwegren by Fritz von Dardel

So what became of Augusta’s lieutenants?

Knut (b. 1816) and his brother Claes (b. 1819) Bergenstråhle became army officers.

Ludvig Löwegren (b. 1817) became an army officer, a pianist, and a composer.

Erik af Edholm (b. 1817) became an officer, marshal at the court of King Karl XV, and director of the Royal Theatre.

Gillis Bildt (b. 1820) became prime minister of Sweden in 1888.

Augusta's lieutenants later in life. Top row: Knut and
Augusta’s lieutenants later in life.
Top row: Knut and Claes Bergenstråhle.
Bottom row: Löwegren, Edholm, and Bildt.