Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Scandinavian Family

Many of Poul Anderson's characters are movers and shakers, men who make things happen. While reading Stieg Larsson's summary of the history of his fictional Vanger family, I was struck by parallels with several Andersonian scenarios and also with SM Stirling's Lorings:

Alexandre Vangeersad, a soldier, came from France to Sweden with King Jean Baptiste Bernadotte and, in 1818, was rewarded with an estate in Norrland where he also bought forested land;

his son, adminstering the estate, applied new European methods to farming and forestry and founded a pulp and paper mill;

his grandson, who shortened the surname to Vanger, developed trade with Russia, founded a merchant fleet that served Germany, the Baltics and the English steel industry and diversified into mining and metal industries;

although his two great-grandsons engaged in power struggles that threatened the survival of the company, they also laid the basis for the high-finance Vanger clan.

That story sounded familiar more than once.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm reminded of how there were real world families which, starting from modest origins, rose to great wealth along very similar lines to that of the Vangers. The Medicis, Fuggers, Astors, Rockefellers, etc. Finance, commerce, industry, etc.


Paul Shackley said...

And is van Rijn making any provision for his succession? (I don't mean: Is he having chidren? We know the answer to that.)

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

First, I should have include the Rothschilds and Fords in my list of great mercantile/industrial families.

Second. Intriguing and I would say yes. We do see how David Falkayn became Old Nich's right hand man. And by marrying his granddaughter Coya, David also became part of van Rijn's family. I THINK we see mention of Falkayn being groomed to be Old Nich's successor at Solar Spice & Liquors. And old Nick's illegitimate son Eric by Sandra Tamarin was accepted by the rest of the Tamarins as eligible to be elected Grand Duke of Hermes after Sandra died or abdicated.