Henri Nathansen

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Henri Nathansen
Henri Nathansen82.jpg
Henri Nathansen, 1909
Born (1868-07-17)17 July 1868
Hjørring, Denmark
Died 16 February 1944(1944-02-16) (aged 75)
Lund, Sweden
Pen name Frater Taciturnus
Occupation Novelist, dramatist, stage director, biographer
Nationality Danish
Literary movement Naturalism
Notable works Inside the Walls, Mendel Philipsen and Son

Henri Nathansen (17 July 1868 – 16 February 1944) was a Danish writer and stage director, today best known for the play Inside the Walls (Danish: Indenfor Murene).


Nathansen grew up in a merchant family in Copenhagen. Abandoning a legal career, he turned to writing and later directing. His best known work, Inside the Walls, premiered in 1912 at the Royal Danish Theatre, directed by the author.[1] The play centers around a wealthy, loving, but conservative Jewish family whose only daughter breaks away from tradition by attending lectures at the university and secretly becoming engaged to her teacher, a gentile. Still frequently performed, the play was included in the official Canon of Danish Culture in 2006.

Nathansen's 1932 novel Mendel Philipsen and Son, about a Jewish woman who falls in love with a gentile painter but instead enters into a loveless marriage with her Jewish cousin, was adapted for the 1992 movie Sofie.[2]

Late in his career, Nathansen wrote a number of biographies, notably one of Georg Brandes (1929).

In October 1943, when the Nazis attempted to round up the Danish Jews, Nathansen fled to Sweden. Four months later, he took his own life.


A bust of nathansen stands in the small garden complex Digterlunden next to the Town Hall Square in Frederiksberg.


  1. Nyhuus, Lone. "Behind the Heavy Walls of Faith". Danish Ministry of Culture. Retrieved 27 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Sofie Plot & Synopsis". Moviefone. Retrieved 27 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


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