Biography

Hans Egede (1686-1758), the son of Poul Hansen Egede and Kirsten Jensdatter Hind, was born in Harrestad, Norway, then under Danish sovereignty. He has been universally acclaimed as the Apostle of Greenland because he reintroduced Christianity to Greenland after the early Norse settlers and their descendants had disappeared. Traveling out to Greenland in 1721 as a Royal Missionary, with his family, including his first wife Gertrud Rask and sons Poul and Niels, he devoted himself to spreading the Lutheran confession among the native Inuit (Eskimo) population. His famous work on his time in Greenland, The Old Greenland's New Perlustration (Det gamle Gr0nlands nye Perlustration), was first published in 1729, but was later expanded in 1741. After the death of his wife, he married Mettea Trane, a widow. He had returned to Copenhagen, in Denmark, in 1736, but continued to occupy himself with Greenlandic matters, having been invested as bishop for Greenland in 1740, a position he held for seven years. Then in 1751, he moved to Stubbek0bing, in Falster, on Denmarks Baltic coast, where he died in 1758.

Neil Kent

Further Reading

Egede, Hans, A Description of Greenland, London: Allman, 1985

Kent, Neil, The Soul of the North: A Social, Architectural and Cultural History of the Nordic Countries, 1700-1940, London: Reaktion, 1999

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