Even in her old age, Astrid was outgoing and
friendly – her warm humour never ceasing.


During her final years, Astrid made fewer and
fewer public appearances, and after her 90th
birthday virtually withdrew altogether.


In 1998, at the age of 91, Astrid Lindgren suffers
a stroke and she finds it increasingly difficult to
get around. She no longer participates in public
events, but continues to go for walks in
Vasaparken and she still spends her summers in
Furusund, in the Stockholm archipelago. She
progressively loses both sight and hearing, but
she never loses her sense of humour. When
asked what she would like for her 94th birthday,
she says: “Peace on earth and some nice
clothes”. She is pictured here with Crown
Princess Victoria during the ceremony at
Junibacken where she received the award,
“Worldwide Swede of the Year” (1997).

The last years



All her life Astrid had a soft spot for children
and animals. Here, seen with a calf in freedom,
just as Astrid would have it – in sharp contrast
with the main picture which shows the cattle at
the Prime Minister’s property, Harpsund in
October, 1990. The pictures were used as
illustrations in one of the many thoughtprovoking
articles that Astrid produced in
collaboration with the Associate Professor and
veterinary, Kristina Forslund. What began as an
article led to a whole book as well as a brand
new animal protection law.


In 1986, Astrid Lindgren receives an award from
the Swedish Society for the Protection of
Animals entitled, “Årets Djurvän” (Animal
Lover of the Year).


The former Prime Minister of Sweden, Ingvar
Carlsson introduced a new animal protection
law, following a debate initiated by Astrid
Lindgren. Astrid later called the law “toothless”,
however, because it was not radical enough.


Astrid’s interest in animals and nature expressed
itself in many ways, and she put much effort into
promoting the idea that man must use the earth’s
resources wisely and carefully. She was a board
member of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a
supporter of Greenpeace, led the mobilisation of
support for the open landscape and was a
campaigner, together with the veterinary
Kristina Forslund, against cruel factory farming
practices. Her involvement earned her several
awards including the Albert Schweitzer Medal
and “Årets Djurvän” (Animal Lover of the

The Animal Lover


During the filming, Astrid did not turn up as
often as she had for earlier films, but she was still
constantly available on the phone, to help with
queries to do with the script or the various
characterisations. It had now become customary
that whenever an Astrid Lindgren film is being
made, Allan Edwall would have a part. This time
he is cast in the role of Noddle-Pete.


Hanna Zetterberg who played the part of Ronia
had some drama experience from Vår Teater
(Our Theatre), but Jan Håfström who played Birk
had had no previous acting experience


Most of the scenes in the Ronia film were shot in
Dalsland Shire. But the famous last scene, where
the meadows are filled with white spring flowers
was set on Väderö, an island in the County of


In 1981 the book, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter
is released. Astrid is now 74 years of age, and
this is to be her last book. Filming of the book is
commenced as usual, together with Olle
Hellbom. But right in the middle of the
preparations, Olle Hellbom dies from cancer at
the early age of 56. Tage Danielsson takes over
as director of the film and the result is


Astrid Lindgren about to receive the German
Booksellers’ Peace Award. In her acceptance
speech, she provoked many listeners by
drawing parallels between war and the use of
corporal punishment in child-raising. The
debate that followed resulted in Sweden
becoming the first country in the world to
forbid corporal punishment of children.


Astrid took a stand against all types of
violence. Captured here in connection with an
article entitled, Stop Skinheading!


Gunnar Sträng (the then Minister for Finance)
reading the fairytale, Pomperipossa in
. Though she herself was a Social
Democrat, Astrid protested against the Social
Democratic government that had introduced a
law demanding a marginal tax of more than
100% from certain private companies. For her
personally, this would have meant paying her
entire income + 200 kronor in tax that year.
The ensuing debate led to that law being


Astrid Lindgren often took a stand on issues
to do with the treatment of children, animals
and refugees, but her breakthrough into the
public debate came when she wrote her
satirical fairytale, Pomperipossa in
(1976). Two years later she was
awarded the German Booksellers’ Peace
Award, and her acceptance speech at the
ceremony became the catalyst for an
international debate about the use of corporal
punishment in bringing up children. Another
law came about as a result of a campaign run
by Astrid Lindgren and the veterinary,
Kristina Forslund. This was the new animal
protection law (1988).

The Trendsetter

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