Ibsen, Henrik, was born at Skien, Norway, in 1828, and derived from his mother a strain of German and Scottish blood. He was educated for the medical profession, but soon took to literature, his first effort being a drama, Cateline (1850), which was not successful. Next year, whilst a student in the university of Christiania, he started a paper in which he wrote his earliest social and satirical play, Nora, or A Doll's House. He was appointed manager of the theatre at Bergen in 1852, and went to Christiania in the same capacity five years later. It was not until 1862, after the financial failure of the theatre, that he adopted the functions of a dramatic satirist, and began to illustrate his psychological and social theories in the series of creations that has made him famous. Love's Comedy (1863) marks the turning-point of his career. His two great poems, Brand, and Peer Gynt, appeared in 1866-67. Between 1877 and 1897 he has given to the world The Pillars of Society, Ghosts, An Enemy of Society. The Wild Duck, llnsmersliolni, Iledda Gabler, The Master Builder, Little Eyolfx and John Gabriel Borkman. All of these have been translated into English, and most of them have been put upon the stage in this country, where they are still the subjects of excited criticism.
Ibsen never forgave his country for holding aloof from Denmark in 1864, and has lived abroad for nearly thirty years, part of this period being spent in Italy, part at Munich. An excellent book on his life is written by H. Jaeger.