Johanna Ilmakunnas: Kapiot, kartanot, rykmentit. Erään aatelissuvun elämäntapa 1700-luvun Ruotsissa [Trousseaus, manors, regiments. The lifestyle of one noble house in 18th-century Sweden]

28 July 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kapiot, kartanot, rykmentit. Erään aatelissuvun elämäntapa 1700-luvun Ruotsissa
[Trousseaus, manors, regiments. The lifestyle of one noble house in 18th-century Sweden]
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2011. 524 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-264-0
€ 38, hardback

This book deals with the lifestyles, finances and consumption habits of the high nobility of Sweden in the 18th century (which included Finland at that time). The central figure is Count Axel von Fersen (1719–1794), a very influential statesman and soldier, and his German-Baltic lineage. This portrait broadens into a lifestyle study, providing extensive information on the customs and the world of the nobility of that era, such as the institution of marriage, child-rearing, mistresses, clothing and interior decor – as indicators of one’s social status – artistic activities, games and gastronomy. The topic of consumption is linked to social, cultural, ideological and legal perspectives. In the lives of the high nobility, money – or lack thereof – was not a defining feature; rather, choices were governed by ideals, values and obligations such as honour, reputation, faith and origin. Johanna Ilmakunnas is a historical researcher and editor. This book is based on her award-winning doctoral thesis (2009).
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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