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Memorable Manitobans: Torfhildur Holm Thorsteinsdóttir (1845-1918)


Born in Skagastrond, Iceland, she studied in Reykjavík. In 1876 she accompanied Rannveig Jónasson to New Iceland (in Manitoba), remaining there on and off for nine years. She moved to Winnipeg in 1885 to teach, and she returned to Iceland in 1889. In Manitoba she recorded many stories of Icelandic immigrants, which were published posthumously in 1962 as Folktales and Stories. While in the province she also wrote a popular historical novel, Brynjólfur Sveinsson biskup, published in 1882, and completed several volumes of short stories. In 1891 she was awarded a controversial pension by the Icelandic government for her literary success.

More information:

Torfhildur Holm Thorsteinsdóttir, Dictionary of Canadian Biography XIV, 1,000-1,001.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 29 April 2008

Memorable Manitobans

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