PRIVACY Book Launch: Private/Public in 18th-Century Scandinavia

You are invited to celebrate the launch of our new book:


About Private/Public in 18th-Century Scandinavia:

This volume explores the private in the public. Focusing on the two states of 18th century Scandinavia – Denmark-Norway and Sweden, incorporating Finland – it argues for including the periphery on its own terms in the grand narrative of the rise of the private. Moreover, it argues for the spatialization but also temporalization of the term. The private is something that people did; the potentiality for privacy was always there. But when and why did it surface?

Included are investigations of the usage and multiple meanings of the term itself – the private – following traces in private conversations, parliamentary debates, letters, court records and newspapers. This linguistic perspective is combined with a conceptual and physical one, studying buildings and floor plans, furniture, ordinances and corruption. Most chapters centre on the major cities of the region – Copenhagen and Stockholm – but other cities as well as rural life are considered.

Private actions and private lives took place within public actions and public lives, not in isolation from them. By looking at the interaction between private and public, rather than treating the two notions as distinct and antagonistic, the studies collected here let us see how early modern people navigated the private aspects of life, along with all the potential dangers and benefits that accompanied them.


Private/Public in 18th-Century Scandinavia is an Open Access publication. Find more information about the book here.


The book launch will be on Zoom:
Register here 
(You will receive a Zoom link on 1 February 2022)