Runeberg (1925) The Songs of Ensign Stal (Fänrik Ståls Sänger) – Finnish Military Poem


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Runeberg, Johan Ludvig. The Songs of Ensign Stål (Fänrik Ståls Sänger): National Military Song-Cycle of Finland from the Swedish of Johan Ludvig Runeberg in the Original Meters. Clement Burbank Shaw, Trans. (G. E. Stechert & Co.: New York, 1925)  First complete English translation with introduction and canto synopses, music, illustrations by Malmström and Edelfelt, with a foreword on the Finnish War (1808-1809) by Lawrence F. Nordstrom.

Octavo. xxxiv, 307 pages. Illustrated. Hardcover bound in olive-green cloth covered boards.  Boards are double framed in blind stamp, front cover and spine are stamped in gilt.

Condition: Fine-. Gilding is bright and sharp, Spine ends and rear cover barely bumped.  Tiny tear to top of spine.  Binding mostly tight. Text block clean with minor even darkening. Could hold a prominent place on your shelves.

“The Tales of Ensign Stål (Swedish original title: Fänrik Ståls sägner, Finnish: Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat is an epic poem written in Swedish by the Finland-Swedish author Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the national poet of Finland. The poem describes the events of the Finnish War (1808–1809) in which Sweden lost its eastern territories; these would become incorporated into the Russian Empire as the Grand Duchy of Finland.

“The first part of Ensign Stål was first published in the revolutionary year 1848, the second in 1860. It shaped Finnish identity and was later given out free during the Winter War to raise patriotic spirit. The first chapter of the poem also became the national anthem of Finland….

“From its publication to the mid-twentieth Century, The Tales of Ensign Stål was staple reading in both Finnish and Swedish schools. It shaped the later image of the war and of some of its real-life protagonists. Admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt is mainly remembered today for his treacherous surrender of the fortress of Sveaborg. The Russian general Yakov Kulnev, on the other hand, is described positively as a chivalrous and brave soldier and ladies’ man.” – Wikipedia