Henrik Ibsen

Henryk Ibsen

1828 (Skien, Norway) – 1906 (Christiania, now Oslo)

Bjørnson and Ibsen met as aspiring writers; though Bjørnson became a generous supporter, their friendship later foundered, only reviving when Ibsen’s son married Bjørnson’s daughter. Joyce, a fan, wrote to him in Norwegian (Ibsen had no English). Grieg was met in Rome, and though Ibsen invited him much later to write the music that made his name, their natural affinity was always overshadowed by Ibsen’s outward coldness. Anderson, meanwhile, liked him, but not his work. Strindberg and Ibsen never met, but pursued an extraordinary feud, Ibsen keeping a portrait of his enemy in his study to spur himself on.

Henrik Ibsen knew…