Holger Danske at Nyborg Castle
02. July 2014 | Nyborg Castle
The well-known children's and young people's
author, Josefine Ottesen, is working on a new and thrilling project
that involves Nyborg Castle.
On October 2, the author's newest novel will
be published, Helgi
Daner, which tells the story of the childhood and youth of
Holger Danske. Since this publication will mark Ottesen's 30th
anniversary as an author, she has decided to take advantage of the
occasion to explore new ways of spreading her message. She will
focus not only on the book itself, but especially on its readers,
who will be able to get involved with the book's plot in the form
of fan-fiction, roleplaying, family reading and music. During the
fall break, (October 11-19), the book will be presented at several
libraries on Fyn (Funen).
For Josefine Ottesen to choose Nyborg Castle
for her event is no mere coincidence. "We have focused on the story
of Holger Danske for a long time in our research," says department
leader of Nyborg Castle Museum, Janus Møller Jensen, who is looking
forward to collaborating with the author from Funen. He hopes that
the new book and activities surrounding it will cast further light
on the fantastic story of how the myth of the Danish prince Holger
has developed to the present day.
"We do know that one of the kings who is most
closely connected to Nyborg Castle, Christian II, was actively
involved in bringing the legend of Holger Danske into the national
consciousness of all Danes. We're very interested in using Josefine
Ottesen's version, Helgi
Daner, as an example of a retelling of a long-lived story,"
continues Janus Møller Jensen.
Most Danes know Holger Danske as the figure
asleep in the basement of Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, waiting for
a day when the kingdom of Denmark is seriously under threat, and he
will awaken and come to the aid of his country. But that is far
from the whole story about him; in the medieval version of the
myth, he raced around establishing an enormous Christian empire in
In this way, Josefine Ottesen's new book will
reveal the hero's childhood and youth for modern readers, at the
same time giving us historians a unique opportunity to cast light
on the old myth from around 1000 AD or before, showing how it has
developed from the Middle Ages until today.