Helsinki of the Czars Finland's Capital
Traces the turbulent history of Helsinki in a period of rapid change, examining its society and culture from Russian to Finn.
This book traces the cultural and social history of Helsinki during a period in which, as the capital of Russia's semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, it underwent radical changes. The author shows how, from a mercantile and shipping town, Helsinki became the seat of the government and university, the notable city-planner Johan Albrecht Ehrenström and the genius of Karl Ludvig Engel, an architect from Berlin, making it into a Neo-Classical show-piece. However, by the 1860s a swiftly growing Finnish population demanded their own rights; Professor Schoolfield describes the many transformations which took place in an increasingly bilingual environment, and how national-romantic passions led to a remarkable outburst of creative activity - such as the music of Sibelius and the paintings of Edelfeldt and Gallen-Kallela, the architecture of Saarinen and Sonck, and the literature of Tavaststjerna and Eio Leino.The political and social tensions culminated in Finland's independence in 1917, and the bloody Finnish Civil War in the following year.
"A distinguished Scandinavian literary scholar, Schoolfield has produced a typically well-researched and elegantly written cultural history of the city of Helsinki when it served as the political and intellectual capital of Imperial Russia's 'Grand Duchy of Finland.' Recommended for public and university libraries." CHOICE
"This is a book about a city and its people which has been a pleasure to read. George Schoolfield is to be congratulated for 'sharing his liking of the city'. The vignettes that he sketches, the anecdotes that he relates, and the wealth of literary and artistic reference will entertain the Finns themselves as well as the English-reading public. He has written a text to be savoured." THE SLAVONIC REVIEW
"Schoolfield has an uncanny ability to make Helsinki come alive for the reader." SCANDINAVIAN-CANADIAN STUDIES