Sigrid Undset (20 May 1882 – 10 June 1949) was a Norwegian novelist and essayist. She is best known for her historical fiction, particularly her trilogy “Kristin Lavransdatter,” which earned her the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928.

Life and Career

She was born on 20 May 1882, in Kalundborg, Denmark. She attended school there and later studied at the University of Oslo, where she specialized in medieval history and literature.

She began her writing career as a journalist and literary critic. She published her first novel, “Fru Marta Oulie,” in 1907, which caused controversy for its frank portrayal of a woman’s adultery. She continued to write novels, essays, and plays, often drawing on her interest in history and her Catholic faith. Her most famous work, the trilogy “Kristin Lavransdatter,” was published between 1920 and 1922 and tells the story of a woman’s life in medieval Norway.

Her later works explored religious themes and reflected her Catholic faith, such as “The Burning Bush” (1930) and “The Unknown Sigrid Undset” (1932).


She was also politically active and opposed the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II. She fled to the United States in 1940 and remained there until the end of the war.

She died on 10 June 1949, in Lillehammer, Norway.

Award and Legacy

Sigrid Undset was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928 for her notable contribution to the field of literature.


In addition to the Nobel Prize, Undset was awarded many other honors, including the Order of St. Olav and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

Her legacy extends beyond her writing. She was a committed Catholic and was beatified by the Catholic Church in 2007. Undset is also remembered for her activism, particularly her opposition to the Nazi regime and her efforts to assist refugees during World War II.

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