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The Author Jón Björnsson from Holt farm

By April 9, 2020 April 16th, 2020 No Comments

Jón Björnsson (born 1907 – died 1994) was af well known writer in Scandinavia. His novels would also be translated into a number of other language.

Holt farm was a cultured home that had a fine collection of books. In 1907 a boy was born there by the name of Jón Björnsson. In later life Björnsson went on to become a well-known writer in Scandinavia. His first stories had already been published before he left for Denmark in 1930 to study Danish and literature.

Fjölskyldan í Holti. F.v. Sigrún, Marín, Sigurlaug, Björn, Runólfur og Jón. Siggeir sem var bóndi í Holti mjög lengi var ófæddur þegar þessi mynd er tekin. (Eig. ABS)
On the photo are Jón and Gauja (Owner ABS)

The young man´s goal was to become a successful author writing in Danish. He was convinced there was no future for a writer with ambition in Iceland during the Depression years. Things went well for Björnsson in Denmark. He wrote for newspapers and magazines and his first novel Jordens magt, published in 1942, was very well received. Six years later the book was translated into Icelandic.
Björnsson returned to Iceland at the end of the Second World War and devoted his time to writing in Icelandic and translating his work into Danish. His novels would also be translated into a number of other languages.

In all, Björnsson wrote nine novels. Most of his work deals with real events from Icelandic history and in particular how the common folk suffered at the hands of both Icelandic and Danish officials. The most famous in Iceland are Jón Gerreksson, 1947, Valtýr á grænni treyju, 1951, Jómfrú Þórdís, 1964.

Jón Björnssonar wrote the children book before he left Iceland
This story is about a girl that is conviced for magic. She flees and lives in Skaftárgljúfur, which is in the mountain north of Holt
This book Jón has sent to his father and mother
The farm Holt at Sida. (Photo. ABS)

Translation Neil McMahon

[1] Viðtal í Morgunblaðinu 26. sept 1976. s. 22-23. Það er Ingimar Erlendur Sigurðsson sem ræðir við Jón Björnsson. Viðtal við Jón Björnsson í Sunnudagsblaði Tímans 25. tbl.1966 s. 590-593 og 597.

[2] Jón Björnsson. 1954. Bergljót. Bókaútgáfan Norðri, Akureyri. s. 145-146