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150-year-old love letter found in Swedish field

Oliver Gee · 13 Jan 2012, 16:03

Published: 13 Jan 2012 16:03 GMT+01:00

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Stockholm resident Susann Bollö, 45, was taking a winter walk with her boyfriend Roger Bengtsson in a field outside of Morup in Halland when she chanced upon the folded, handwritten pages on the field’s edge.

“I cried out to Roger that the letter was from ’62,” she told local paper Hallands Nyheter.

But then on closer inspection, Bollö was surprised to find the letter was actually dated July 24, 1862.

“The fields were frosty so the pages were completely dry. It must have come in with the storm, ‘Emil’, the day before,” she told the paper.

“The letter was only a few metres from a water-filled ditch. It would have only taken a breath of wind to take it off into the water where it would have been destroyed.”

The letter, though a little smudged over time, is still quite legible despite the age and the old fashioned penmanship. It appears to have been sent from the Belgian coastal town of Ostend.

Bollö said the letter’s contents were a little difficult to read at first with the old styled Swedish characters, but that the abundance of the words ‘my beloved’ and ‘loving’ revealed the letter’s purpose.

It is also clear that the romantic writer was called Lina, and the object of her affection was named Otto.

It appears the romantic writer was well travelled too, as one passage reads “but my dear, one cannot compare Paris will London.”

The letter is signed off with “a heartfelt embrace… I love you” followed by a signature that is mostly still readable.

Story continues below…

“Of course, it makes you wonder who Lina and Otto were,” Bollö told the paper.

“It would be really fun to find out.”

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:11 January 13, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
A tale of 'unrequited love' perhaps...?
18:02 January 13, 2012 by krrodman
Judging by the photo of the love letter, old Swedish bears a remarkable resemblance to modern English.
18:07 January 13, 2012 by Terri
I suspect the photo is not of the letter, otherwise I would say that old English is looking very much like Swedish. The writing in the letter is definitely English.
20:40 January 13, 2012 by dizzymoe33
This is very cool! Such a lost art though because most use email or texting.
21:31 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
This is cool.

A great find.
22:21 January 13, 2012 by metalhead
Lina was sitting in her kitchen crying when her neighbor came over.

"Why are you crying, Lina?"

"Because my husband Otto went out ice fishing and I don't know how to cook it."

(with apologies to all the Lina and Ole jokes from Northern Michigan/Minnesota).
00:16 January 14, 2012 by Boar
Terri! If you put your mouse pointer on the picture then you will know for sure. The local editor says that the letter in the picture is not the letter mentioned in the article.
13:32 January 14, 2012 by gabeltoon
I'm interested in a follow up to this article. It would make a great detective documentary on television. In the uk there is a program called TIME TEAM, they look into ancient happenings. Nice to see that people still take walks in the countryside, it proves it can be rewarding.
09:51 January 16, 2012 by karex
I love Time Team! Don't miss any episodes. Very nice find, I wonder if the sender and recipient will even be identified. It must have been in someone's care until recently otherwise it wouldn't have survived the elements. Perhaps someone will claim it and tell us the story of great-great grandparents or something.
05:02 October 18, 2012 by alarik36
It would be even better if Time Team(Tidsresenärerna in Swedish or 'timetravellers') visited Uppåkra, which probably was old Lund, the main setting for the events in Beowulf! I have litterally sent messages to the whole staff at the BBC-serie Time team and some british newspapers.

A central place might have been found in the province of Skane, Sweden, in a place that used to belong to Denmark. In a landscape, or region called Skadiney in the 500 c, by the anglosaxons called Scedenige(in Beowulf) by laws of mutation. In the same way the danes and the anglians were called denes and engles. The anglo-saxons(Alfred the Great, 900c)called Skáney or Skane, as it is called nowadays, for Scóneg, also with a (soft?)g in the ending. The nordic ey probably was received by the anglo-saxons a soft g. Also Scedeland has a parallel as Skåne, Halland and Bornholm used to be called Skåneland. Nowadays it normally means just Skåne or Scania as it is called in Latin.

There are many connections to Beowulf. In the neigborhood to the nearby sacrificing-bog Gullakra there were tales about a hideous woman entity sometimes seen with a male compagnon. She was beheaded for the deeds she committed and was berried where three parishes meet. At Uppåkra has also been found 40 bent spearheads(500c) from north Germany. Similar ones have been described in Widsith after a fight with Ingeld. Please look at:

The cup is right after the middle of the page. A similar cup that is carried around and never put down is described in Beowulf, carried by queen Waltheow:

I suspect that this could be the cult and festivity-house Heorot. What was unusual about this house was not it´s length, but it´s height. It was probably at least 12 m high, a scyscraper for that time..The name Heorot could have something to do with Uppåkras background as sun-worshipping place. A sun-deer is portrayed in the old-norse verses of Sólarljód.

Most legends are not simply made up, they build on something.

Yours sincerely,

Hakan Liljeberg

Lund, Sweden

PS Maybe I shouldn´t mention that the necklace(dated to 600c.) called Brosingamene in B and Brisingamen in the Edda, has been found in Möne, Götaland/Geatland already in the 1860:ies, but since historical research has been politically directed towards Stockholm/Uppsala and the Mälarvalley since the 16th c, all the finds from other areas are treated with 3:rd degree interest. Help us give this international attention. Heorot has been found, but nobody seems to care, or dares to care..(Just google on Möne, collar, necklace etc.) DS
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