February 5
Author, actor, poet and film director Tage Danielsson was born in Linköping on February 5 in 1928. Danielsson got involved in student theater when studying at the University of Uppsala. After graduation he worked at Sveriges Radio and became the manager for its entertainment department. It is there that he came in contact with Hans Alfredsson, with whom he started the entertainment production company, AB Svenska Ord, in 1961. Hasseåtage, as the pair became known, excelled in making scorching comments on current events in an illusorily naive and outwardly friendly way that often succeeded to endear even political opponents to his particular brand of humorist humanism. He was also a constant campaigner behind the scene for causes ranging from anti-apartheid to anti-nuclear to social solidarity; he was also a regular contributor to the anarcho-syndicalist newspaper Arbetaren. Danielsson was a noted atheist. Among his films are: “Att angora en brygga” (“Docking the Boat) and “Äppelkriget” (“The Apple War”). And for TV: “Gröna hund,” “Gula hund” and “Glaset i örat.” Tage Danielsson died in 1985.

February 8
Swedish author and salon hostess Malla Silfverstolpe was born on February 8 in 1782 in Finland. Silfverstolpe, who was born Montgomery, married David Gudmund Silfverstolpe, a colonel. When her husband died in 1819, Malla began running her Friday night salon in Uppsala. Inspired by the prominent women of Paris, she welcomed leading figures in Swedish science, literature and high society and even hosted influential foreign visitors to the country. The salon was a powerful presence and the center of Sweden’s romantic movement. Aside from her support for romantic poets and novelists, Silfverstolpe was also patron to a number of songwriters. She had kept diaries all throughout her life, and with the help of these she began writing her memoirs, which eventually were released in four parts. Her writings provide an important contemporary account of figures such as Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom and Erik Gustaf Geijer. Silfverstolpe died in 1861.


February 11
Author and illustrator Elsa Beskow was born on February 11 in 1874 in Stockholm. She is one of Sweden’s most known children’s books authors. Beskow studied at Konstfack in Stockholm and married a former minister, social worker and doctor of theology Nathanael Beskow in 1897. Beskow’s breakthrough was the book “Puttes äventyr i blåbärsskogen” in 1901. Her style is light but with a sharp eye for details, especially when it comes to flowers and animals. Beskow often framed her illustrations in the decorative Jugend style. Other books include: “Solägget,” “Tomtebobarnen,” “Tant Grön, tant Brun och tant Gredelin” and “Hattstugan.” Elsa Beskow died in 1953.

February 23
Swedish/Norwegian guitarist John Norum was born on February 23 in 1964 in Vardø, Norway, but moved to Sweden with his family a year later. In 1978 he joined the hard rock band Europe, and played with it until 1986, when they parted ways. When Europe took up again after a hiatus, John Norum again became its guitarist. With Europe, he recorded albums like “Europe” (1983), “Wings of Tomorrow” (1984) and “The Final Countdown” (1986). As a soloist he recorded: “Total Control” (1987) and “Play Yard Blues” (2010). John Norum is the older brother of singer Tone Norum. While living for a few years in the United States, he met and married Michelle Meldrum, founder and lead guitarist of the all female hard rock band Phantom Blue and the Swedish metal band Meldrum. The couple has one son, born in 2004. Michelle died on May 21, 2008 from a cystic growth in her brain.