It was on this date, December 8, 1832, that Norwegian poet, novelist, and dramatist Björnstjerne Björnson was born in Kvikne, Österdal, Norway, the son of a Lutheran pastor whose religion was as bleak as the village landscape. But after age six the family moved to pleasanter surroundings in Noesset, Romsdal, and Björnson eventually attended Christiania University, from which he graduated in 1852. He read the Agnostic British philosopher Herbert Spencer, as well as Hippolyte Taine, Charles Darwin and others, and in 1875 Björnson revealed his rejection of religion.
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.