“Mama, I am not made for a quiet home with the smell of roses! I need battles to be happy!”
Those are the words Baroness Siri von Essen expresses, one year after meeting the author August Strindberg, when she tells her horrified mother about her sudden break-up from husband and children and everything common convention demands. Siri wants to become an actress, it has always been her burning passion, ever since she was a little child. But as a baroness, and particularly one married to a captain of the guards, she can of course under no circumstances enter the stage.
Siri von Essen really does leave everything behind in order to lead her new marriage and life with August Strindberg. She is welcomed into the circle of authors, artists and actors around Strindberg, and manages, despite the social conventions to, establish an acting career within the national royal theatre, Dramaten.
But she never receives her mother’s blessing. And as far as ‘battles’ are concerned, Siri would soon have more than she could reasonably have wished for.
Lena Einhorn describes a strong woman with an appetite for life, a woman who dares to break with the social rules of her time, and especially those of her own class.
Siri von Essen’s marriage to August Strindberg will eventually be her misfortune and her friend Marie David has an important role in bringing the relationship to an end. The novel follows two parallel time-levels: one describing the couple’s rising passion, the other the heart-rending divorce.