Eero ja Saimi Järnefeltin kirjeenvaihtoa ja päiväkirjamerkintöjä 1889–1914 [Eero and Saimi Järnefelt: Correspondence and diary entries, 1889–1914]

12 March 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Eero ja Saimi Järnefeltin kirjeenvaihtoa ja päiväkirjamerkintöjä 1889–1914
[Eero and Saimi Järnefelt: Correspondence and diary entries, 1889–1914]
Toim. [Ed. by] Marko Toppi
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2009. 403 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-113-1
€ 38, hardback

The actress Saimi Swan (1867–1944) and painter Eero Järnefelt (1863–1937) were both born into prominent Finnish families united by similar creative and cultural ideals. The book consists mainly of correspondence between the couple, beginning with their engagement in 1890, and their diary entries up to 1914. Eero Järnefelt’s letters from Paris and Rome provide fascinating glimpses into personal relationships, discussions on artistic practices and aims, and political movements from the golden era of Finnish art. Saimi Järnefelt’s letters illuminate the conflict she experienced between her career and family life. She had to keep her engagement secret in order to safeguard her career; once married, Saimi Järnefelt left the theatre. In letters written to her sister-in-law Aino Sibelius – the wife of composer Jean Sibelius – Saimi Järnefelt often described the cycle of the seasons in her garden: gardening was a hobby the two women shared, in which their need for self-expression could find an outlet.

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