Etikettarkiv: Schubert

A Significant Letter

Gustaf Leidenfrost's seal
Gustaf Leidenfrost’s seal

Of course, today we usually don’t get letters – we get emails and text messages. But this could have been a letter – and it was so significant.

Kerstin and I received an email from a 5th degree cousin who had stumbled upon our blog. That is, our respective grandparents’ grandparents’ fathers were brothers – Augusta’s father (Johan Peter Söderholm) and Carl Adam Söderholm.

Our cousin belongs to the family Schubert whose members are frequently mentioned in Augusta’s diary. The Schubert family lived in Norrköping and also had a country home, Fullerstad, close to Söderköping. Kerstin and I visited those places earlier this spring and wrote about two of the sisters Schubert, Mina Schubert and Hanna Schubert.

What is so significant is that we have, in parallel, been researching our families’ lives! I am sure we all have unanswered questions about our families.

One question I have been trying to answer is how Augusta’s sister Amalia met her husband Gustaf Leidenfrost (several different spellings of his last name exists. )

Fredrik Gustaf Leidenfrost was born on Christmas Eve, 1798, in Vimmerby. His parents were Christian Friedrich Leidenfrost (1748-1823), an apothecary, and Birgitta Maria von Sydow (1768-1810); he was one of their 7 children.

From his birth until he marries Augusta’s sister Amalia in 1832, at age 34, we don’t know much about his life. We know that when they got married, he was one of the successful textile-mill owners in Norrköping and that he had bought the estate, Loddby.

An interesting coincidence is that on the Schubert side of the family, Augusta’s close cousin, Carolina, also had married one of the leading textile-mill owner in Norrköping – Johan Jacob Schubert – in 1824.

Norrköping must have been a very small, although increasingly important town in the mid-1800s, with textile-mill owners even being connected by family ties.

Maybe we will find out more about the connections between our two families over coffee with our new-found cousin tomorrow!


Johanna Jacobina Schubert marries Eric Sparre

There is only one wedding described in Augusta’s diary, the wedding of her cousin Carolina Schubert’s daughter Johanna (Hanna). Hanna was 2 years younger than Augusta and they were best friends. On August 7, 1851, Hanna married Count Lars Eric Georg Sparre. There are no descriptions of what the women wore and especially nothing about how the bride looked.

Given that Queen Victoria in 1840 had worn a white wedding dress, it is likely that the fashion in Sweden in 1851 also dictated a white dress. The pictures above are a few paintings from this time period of brides getting dressed.

”Hanna is married, but I will have to start at the beginning.

On the evening of the 6th of August, before the important day that would give Hanna the name, honor, and dignity of being a countess, her bridesmaids and the groomsmen were invited to merrily celebrate the last hours of her carefree time as a free woman.

I was the first to arrive. Shortly thereafter, Countess Sparre accompanied by her sister, an old dry and dull Mamsell, and two tall girls from Carlscrona, Miss Rappe and Mamsell Hjelm, both silent and inaccessible, arrived. Miss Ströberg, Mamsell Lenning, Rosa de Mare, Ada Sparre, and little Emelie Schubert were the other bridesmaids who, one after the other, made their entrance into the red parlor.

Soon, the groomsmen arrived. The first one to be presented was a Baron Rappe (cousin to the tall Miss Rappe) who displayed the forthright, trustworthy, and honest character that generally is associated with sailors and which makes you immediately comfortable and uninhibited in their company. Then followed a sharp-nosed Baron Falkenberg, a man I had previously met when he was a cadet. I think he was a little in love with Miss Rappe’s great merits as one always found him in her vicinity. Albert Schubert, the adventurer Ambjörn Sparre, Mr Victor Lenning, and the extraordinarily beautiful Baron Rehbinder were additional groomsmen. One of my Stockholm dance partners, Lieutenant Uggla, finished the lovable row of cavaliers.

After this short introduction, the dance began and continued until 10:30 in the evening without any particularly ingenuity and without any of us having made any advances in getting acquainted.

Thursday the 7th of August was the momentous day that would lead Hanna to a life of sorrow and despair or, with God’s grace, possibly to one with happiness and prosperity. Wållander officiated the ceremony in the most extraordinarily moving way; I think there was hardly any dry eye in the room. Weddings are all the same, a little monotonous and boring, but I had no reason to complain as my cavalier was a General.

The next day at breakfast, most of the wedding guests were assembled. General Boij and Lieutentant Colonel Tömgren conversed so diligently with me that they forgot to eat the stately breakfast. This gave rise to several sarcastic statements from the younger groomsmen, which I answered. My replies were not appreciated and made Baron Rappe my enemy. Baron Rehbinder and I, now at last, became a little more acquainted, but the two sailors and the two ladies from Carlscrona kept to themselves as peas in a pod and were impossible to form any closer acquaintance with.

I was asked to sing and I had to come forward to show my talent. It think it went reasonably well and I was thanked in the most flattering terms. The men sang a couple of quartets, very well, and finally we parted to get ready for the ball.

Twelve different uniforms swirled around the ballroom and offered a fairly lively view. The anticipation for the ball was high. As soon as I entered the hall I was asked to dance all the dances and, of course, I was not sad to feel so desirable. The ball lasted until 3:00 in the morning.”

Ball. Illustrerad Tidning 1858.

Footnote: Baron K.A. Rappe and his cousin Miss Torborg Rappe later married.


How boring it is to be ill … but Wilhelm von Braun writes humorous poems

In the summer of 1849, I was mostly at home except for a few weeks spent at Fullerstad and a few days at Krusenhof. August was very ill throughout the summer and the joy and well-being during that time were rare guests at Loddby. The last days of the year, I had a violent rush of blood to my lungs, and was sick for 3 weeks.  A thousand times I exclaimed with Braun:

How boring, so boring it is to be ill
woe it’s invention, nevertheless, still
time passes by, as time’s wont to do,
But slowly, damned slowly, time passes through.

(Attempt at translating Wilhelm von Braun’s poem Fantasi på sjuksängen).

This is the first diary entry where we learn that Augusta had tuberculosis, or consumption. Her brother August was also ill and we don’t know what he was afflicted with that summer. Fullerstad was the home of Augusta’s dear relatives, the Schuberts, and Krusenhof was the home of her best friends, the Hjorts.

But who was Wilhelm von Braun who wrote poetry that a 22-year-old girl would have memorized? Well, at that time he was one of Sweden’s most popular poets. And not all of his poems would have been suitable for young women :).

Wilhelm von Braun (1813-1860), like Paul Wahlfelt and other officer friends of Augusta, got his early education in the cadet school at Karlberg’s military academy in Stockholm. This was a boarding school for boys, usually from privileged families. Wilhelm followed the tradition of his father, and was enrolled at Karlberg at 15 years of age in 1828. After graduating in 1834, and for the next 7 years, he served as a lieutenant.

But his passion was poetry and prose. He published his first poetry in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in 1834. In 1849 he wrote a story called Napoleon, the Adventure of a Cadet, which was based on his experiences at Karlberg. In 1846, he resigned his commission as a lieutenant to be a full-time writer.

Von Braun is presently having a renaissance. There is now a Wilhelm von Braun Association who has published the book Wilhelm von Braun – The one that ladies never read (”Den där som damerna aldrig läst”). And while reading the book, one can enjoy a glass of Wilhelm von Braun’s Punsch, a traditional Swedish cordial, produced in honor of this national poet.

I am glad that Augusta still got to enjoy the poems suitable for women, and those that provided humor for young girls suffering with consumption.


Sources (in Swedish):…/ASU_207.pdf  (Kadettminnen av överste Claes Bratt)

Fantasi på Sjuksängen i Samlade Arbeten af Wilhelm v. Braun, Del 1 (pdf of book available free online) (Wilhelm von Brauns Punsch)

Featured image is part of an oil painting by Antonio Mancini (1852-1930), Resting, 1887.,+Antonio



Balls, theater performances, and concerts

”I spent the winter and summer of 1848 at home in deepest solitude, sometime interrupted by a visit from and to Krusenhof.

In January 1849 I traveled, accompanied by Hanna Schubert, to Stockholm where we stayed with baroness Ribbing. Naturally, we had a good deal of amusement: balls, theater performances, and concerts followed in pleasurable succession. Lessons in singing for Mr. Dannström and dutiful visits in return for the previous evenings’ pleasures occupied our mornings.

Erik Sparre came often and paid us visits and Lieutenant Wahlfelt did not come less often. In the spring he proposed to me, but I have always been told that my heart is petrified, and truth is, I believe that it is made of harder material than those of people in general. Anyway, the amiable Lieutenant’s proposal was rejected and in July I returned happy and free to my peaceful, quiet home.”


Krusenhof was the neighboring estate about 3 miles from Augusta’s home at Loddby. Her best friends, the family Hjort, lived there until December 1850 when they moved to Kungsholmen, Stockholm. More about the  family will come in later posts.


Hanna Schubert (b. 1829) was Augusta’s cousin’s daughter. She married Erik Sparre (mentioned above) in 1851.


Mr. Isidor Dannström was an opera singer and composer who also gave singing lessons. He was very famous in the 1840’s along with Jenny Lind. His portrait (right) was drawn by Joseph W. Wallander.


And who was Wahlfelt, the suitor? Paul Axel Fredrik Wahlfelt (b. 1817) was in 1849 a 32-year-old lieutenant who was an instructor in gymnastics and weaponry. He must have started his military education at an early age as the artist Maria Röhl included him in a drawing (left) of young cadets in 1832 .

In 1844, he was also included in Fritz von Dardel’s painting of the Burgesses’ Coronation Ball (top of page). This was a ball held in honor of the coronation of King Oscar I and Queen Josephine. The painting probably depicts the newly introduced dance – the polka. What is also interesting is that von Dardel tagged the dancers, as we do in today’s Facebook pictures. Therefore, we know that Paul Wahlfelt was the 5th gentleman from the left or the 4th gentleman from the right. It seems like that would be the tall, blond officer in the middle.


And as a footnote, Paul Wahlfelt never married.


Fritz von Dardel’s painting:
Maria Röhl’s drawing of Wahlfelt:
Isidor Dannström:
Hanna Schubert: