Tegnér, Esaias (ĕsĪˈäs tĕng-nârˈ) [key], 1782–1846, Swedish poet, bishop of Växjö. Tegnér was the most popular of the Swedish romantic poets. An optimistic nationalist and liberal in his youth, he later became melancholy and conservative and was subject to periods of madness. His militant anti-Russian Svea (1811) and Axel (1821, tr. 1840) were followed by his great Frithjof's Saga (1820–25), which is based on collections of Scandinavian sagas and is considered the masterpiece of the Swedish Gothic tradition. Tegnér's sermons and speeches are classics of the Swedish language.
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