Friday, August 15, 2014

Elsa Beata Bunge (18 April 1734–19 January 1819)

Elsa Beata Bunge (Elsa Beata Wrede) was a Swedish, botanist, writer and noble.

Elsa Beata was the daughter of statesman and noble, baron Fabian Wrede, and Katarina Charlotta Sparre. In 1761, she married the statesman Count Sven Bunge. She was an enthusiastic amateur botanist and had large greenhouses set up at her manor Beateberga; the name of the estate means "The Mountain of Beata". Bunge was connected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and corresponded with Carl von Linné. She became well known as a botanist and wrote the botanical work Om vinrankors beskaffenhet efter sjelfva naturens anvisningar (English: "About the nature of vine grapes by direction from nature itself") with tables (1806), the work for which she was recognised as a botanist.

As a person, Countess Bunge aroused attention because of her way of dressing as a man, with the exception of a skirt. A lot of stories and anectodets are told about her. During the reign of Gustav III (1771–1792), the monarch noticed a peculiarly dressed woman in the Royal Swedish Opera and enquired who she was. Bunge replied : "Tell His Majesty that I am the daughter of statesman Fabian Wrede and married to statesman Sven Bunge."

She died on Beateberga manor in Röö Parish in 1819.

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