1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Beskow, Bernhard von

BESKOW, BERNHARD VON, Baron (1796–1868), Swedish dramatist and historian, son of a Stockholm merchant, was born on the 19th of April 1796. His vocation for literature was assisted by his tutor, the poet Johan Magnus Stjernstolpe (1777–1831), whose works he edited. He entered the civil service in 1814, was ennobled in 1826 and received the title of baron in 1843. He held high appointments at court, and was, from 1834 onwards, perpetual secretary of the Swedish academy, using his great influence with tact and generosity. His poetry is over-decorated, and his plays are grandiose historical poems in dramatic form. Among them are “Erik XIV.” (2 parts, 1826); and four pieces collected (1836–1838) as Dramatiska Studier, the most famous of which is the tragedy of “Thorkel Knutsson.” His works include many academical memoirs, volumes of poems, philosophy and a valuable historical study, Om Gustav den Tredje såsom konung och menniska (5 vols. 1860–1869, “Gustavus III. as king and man”), printed in the transactions of the Swedish Academy (vols. 32, 34, 37, 42, 44). He died on the 17th of October 1868.

See also a notice by C. D. af Wirsen in his Lefnadsteckningar (Stockholm, 1901).