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From the mid-12th century until 1809, Finland was ruled by Sweden, and Swedish remained the dominant language of the upper classes in Finland until the end of the 19th century.

Writings produced in Finland in the Swedish language (Finland-Swedish literature) are discussed under Finnish literature, as are the works of Finnish exiles who lived in Sweden.

A poet and musician, he combined stylized realism with humour and a uniquely delicate sense of language and rhythm. Gustav IV, who followed, did not encourage literature; nevertheless, Anna Maria Lenngren wrote some of her best verse satires between 17, many aimed at aristocratic foibles.

He was the greatest Swedish lyricist of the 18th century. Sweden underwent great political changes during the first decade of the century, with 1809 marking a watershed: the king abdicated as a result of a coup; the country received a new, more democratic constitution; and a third of Swedish territory, including Finland, was lost in the Treaty of Fredrikshamn (Hamina).

The period’s outstanding work was the allegorical epic (first published 1818; “Recollections of Wedding Troubles”), a masterpiece of humour and realism describing the drunken debauchery of a wedding feast and the joys and sorrows of matrimony.

Stiernhielm’s followers included the two brothers Jesper Swedberg, the latter the father of the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.

Olaus Magnus wrote the first geographical and ethnographical account of Scandinavia, In the first half of the 17th century, Swedish literature remained limited in scope and quantity.The poetry of chivalry was first represented in ballads probably dating from the 14th and 15th centuries also reflect a new interest in the romance genre.These ballads, though mostly derived from foreign sources and combining the imported ideals of courtly love with native pagan themes and historical events, form the most accessible genre of what can be called Swedish medieval literature.Olaus Petri’s vigorous approach was revealed in his published sermons and in a Swedish chronicle, the first historical Swedish work based on critical research.Olaus Petri may also have written the biblical Olaus Magnus, were driven into exile.

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