Reima Luoto & al: Suomen sota 1808–1809 [The Finnish War of 1808–1809]

27 March 2009 | Mini reviews

Suomen sotaLuoto, Reima T.A. & Talvitie, Heikki & Visuri, Pekka:
Suomen sota 1808–1809: taustat, tapahtumat, muistomerkit
[The Finnish War of 1808–1809: background, events, memorials]
Espoo: Fenix-Kustannus, 2008. 260 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-862-183-9
€ 36, hardback

As a result of the 1808–1809 Russian-Swedish war, Finland, which had until then belonged to Sweden, was annexed to the Russian Empire, and Finland was established as an autonomous grand duchy. In this 200th anniversary year, several books about the war have already appeared. In its introduction, this book examines the birth and development of the idea of Finnish independence from the reign of Sweden’s King Gustav III onwards. Articles in the volume discuss the place of Finland and Sweden in Europe during the period of the Napoleonic war, and in an article which includes a survey of the present day, Finland’s OSCE envoy Ambassador Heikki Talvitie shows how Sweden has consistently adhered to the foreign policy it formed in the year 1812. Finally, there is a presentation of the real and fictional heroes of J.L. Runeberg’s  Fänrik Ståls sägner (‘The Tales of Ensign Stål’, 1848–60), and a guide to the monuments in Finland and Sweden which commemorate the war.

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