Wergeland, Henrik (hĕnˈrĭk vĕrˈgəlän) [key], 1808–45, Norwegian writer and patriot. A champion of liberty, democracy, and international cooperation, he worked zealously for popular education and reform. His strong personality and his extreme nationalism involved him in violent controversies. He was considered the Norwegian literary genius of his era, and his influence was felt long after his death. Wergeland's poems include Creation, Man, and Messiah (1830), a long verse drama, and The Jew (1842) and The Jewess (1844), in support of Jewish immigrants. The English Pilot (1844) voiced his final aim, the liberation of the human mind.
See H. Koht and S. Skard, The Voice of Norway (1944).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.