Olaf Skavlan

Olaf Skavlan (25 January 1838 – 30 May 1891) was a Norwegian literary historian and playwright.

Olaf Skavlan. Engraving by an unknown artist in the Skilling-Magazin, 1 August 1891.

Personal lifeEdit

He was born as Ole Skavlan in Stranda as a son of vicar and politician Aage Schavland (1806–1876) and his wife Gerhardine Pauline Bergh (1817–1884). He was a brother of Sigvald Skavlan, Einar Skavlan, Sr., Aage Skavlan and Harald Skavlan.[1]

In August 1879 in Stavanger he married Dagmar Kielland (1855–1931). Through this marriage he was a son-in-law of Jens Zetlitz Kielland, a brother-in-law of Ludvig Daae, Elling Holst, Kitty Lange Kielland, Alexander Kielland,[1] Jacob Kielland and Tycho Kielland.[citation needed] He was the father of Einar Skavlan, father-in-law of Arnstein Arneberg and grandfather of Merete Skavlan.[1]


He debuted as a fiction writer as a student. In 1871 he took the doctorate on the thesis Holberg som Komedieforfatter, about Ludvig Holberg as a comedy writer. In the periodical Nyt norsk Tidsskrift he published a study of Henrik Wergeland's work Skabelsen, Mennesket og Messias.[2] This contributed to an understanding of Wergeland as a liberal political figure, not following the politically conservative tradition that branded Wergelenad as an apolitical wordsmith.[3] Skavlan was appointed as a professor at the Royal Frederick University in 1877. He also co-founded and edited the satirical magazine Vikingen, and published the periodical Nyt tidsskrift, between 1882 and 1887 and together with Ernst Sars.[2] In 1884 he was a co-founder of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights, and he was a member of its first board of directors.[4]

Skavlan died in May 1891 in Kristiania.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Aarnes, Sigurd Aa. "Oluf Skavlan". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  2. ^ a b Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Olaf Skavlan". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  3. ^ Aarnes, Sigurd Aa (1990). "Wergeland-kultusen som nasjonsbyggende faktor". Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift (in Norwegian) (2): 148–149.
  4. ^ "Indbydelse til at indtræde i Norsk Kvindesags-Forening stiftet den 28de Juni 1884," Bergens Tidende, 18 November 1884