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Bremer, Fredrika (17 August 1801–31 December 1865), novelist, travel writer, and poet, was born near Abo, Finland, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and his wife. The family moved to Stockholm, Sweden, in 1804 as Russia prepared to annex Finland, then a year later to a country estate near Arsta, Sweden. Bremer’s early life was unhappy; she was isolated and held under her parents’ strict control, her days consumed by a demanding academic regimen of history, philosophy, literature, music, art, and languages. She escaped the pressure by consuming romance novels by the British author Fanny Burney. Her health deteriorated, and in 1821 the family took her to the south of France to convalesce....

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Trollope, Frances (10 March 1779–06 October 1863), novelist and travel writer, was born in Stapleton, near Bristol, England, the daughter of the Reverend William Hilton and Frances Gresley, who died when “Fanny” was very young. Her father later remarried. She was educated by her father in their home near Bristol. In 1809 she married Thomas Anthony Trollope, a rising barrister. Between 1810 and 1818 she gave birth to seven children, including Anthony Trollope, who himself would write forty-seven novels. Only two of these children survived her, as sickness and premature deaths plagued the family. In 1813 Thomas Trollope took over a farm in Harrow that proved to be an economic disappointment....