Chevalier d’Eon – The First Official Transvestite?

 When studying the dispatches sent from the Swedish ambassador in London’s office in 1775, I made an interesting discovery. When ambassador Gustav Adam von Nolcken left London to travel Europe, his substitute Per Olof von Asp was immediately approached by a Frenchman named Jean-Joseph de Vignoles, who asked if Asp could deliver letters to some, according […]

Fredrika Bremer – Notes from a Slave Auction

Swedish author and feminist Fredrika Bremer was born in 1801, and sometimes she has been called the “Swedish miss Austen”. As a very young woman, she dreamed of becoming an author. In an early letter to her private tutor she wrote: “I would like to become an author to whose works everyone who is sad, depressed, […]

Diana Sackville – The Lady who Liked Beer

Diana Sackville was born in 1756 as the eldest daughter to Lord George Sackville, later Lord Germain. She is described as very spirited, very vivid, strong in character and very like her father. In 1778, twenty-two years old, she married Lord Crosbie and moved to Ireland becoming the Countess of Glandore. Diana wrote a lot […]

The Swedish Privateer and his Wife

In May 1710, Lars Gatenhielm received a letter of marque from Swedish king Charles XII. For eight years, Gatenhielm caused havoc in Kattegatt and in the North Sea, operating 50 ships and capturing more than 80 different enemy and neutral ships. In May 1718, Gatenhielm died from tuberculosis but his pirate empire was now taken […]