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Astrid's parents

“Now I would like to tell you a love story, not one I’ve read about or made-up myself, just one I’ve been told. Told many times over. It contains more love than any fictional one, and to me it’s both moving and beautiful. But perhaps that’s because it’s about two people that happened to end up becoming my parents.”


Samuel August and Hanna

Astrid Lindgren’s parents were called Samuel August and Hanna. Both had been born in small villages outside of Vimmerby - Samuel August in Sevedstorp and Hanna in Pelarnehult. Samuel August fell in love with Hanna when he was only thirteen but it took him fifteen years before he plucked up the courage to ask her to marry him. Then it took another two years before the wedding happened. Samuel August and Hanna shared their lives in deep love and respect, until the death of Hanna in 1961. After that Samuel August lived alone until he passed away eight years later in 1969.

““O child, what a mother you’ve had”, he said in his broad Småland twang the last time I visited him.
Oh yes, I sure have! And what a father! With such a loyal, loving heart, utterly loving until its very last heartbeat!”

Samuel August was a real storyteller and Astrid adored listening to his stories of mischief he’d gotten up to as a child. Many years later his stories lived on in the books about Emil in Lönneberga. Samuel August was a fun, gentle father full of love. When it came to disciplining the four children it was Hanna who dealt with that.

Hanna was more reserved and strict. She was good at school and had dreamt of becoming a schoolteacher, but in those days it was rare for girls to get an education. When Hanna said stop you did as she told you, she never had to nag and she never got angry when the children played and broke something. But she made sure they behaved themselves well and kept an eye on most things on the farm.