In her writings Mrs. Carlen (1809-1892) exhibited a versatility which may be considered remarkable. While in one book she revelled in descriptions of home-scenes and characters, in another she presented her readers with events and incidents that bore a strong resemblance to the startling and melodramatic productions of many of the romance writers of France. This peculiarity, however, may be accounted for by the fact that she wrote-as she herself confessed-entirely from impulse. When her mind was clouded by sorrow-and she had been oppressed with many bitter griefs-she sought to remove the cause of her despondency by creating a hero or heroine, afflicted like herself, and following this individual through a train of circumstances which, she imagined, would naturally occur during a life of continued gloom and sorrow.
On the other hand, when life appeared bright and beautiful to her, then she told a tale of joy; a story of domestic life, for where does pure happiness exist except at the fireside at home? It must have been during one of these bright intervals of her life that Mrs. Carlén wrote "The Home in the Valley," for the work is a continued description of the delights of home, which, although occasionally obscured by grief, and in some instances, by folly, are rendered still more precious by their brief absence.
Translated from the original Swedish by Elbert Perce.