Bror von Blixen-Finecke

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Bror Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke
Born 25 July 1886
Näsbyholm Castle, Trelleborg, Sweden
Died 4 March 1946
Sweden
Spouse(s) Karen Dinesen (m. 1914; div. 1925), Jacqueline Harriet Alexander (m. 1928; div. 1935), Eva Dickson (m. 1936–1938)
Parent(s) Hovjägmästare, Baron Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke and Countess Clara Krag-Juel-Wind-Frijs
Relatives Hans von Blixen-Finecke (brother)
Blixen's coat of arms

Baron Bror Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke (25 July 1886 – 4 March 1946) was a Swedish baron, writer, and African big-game hunter.

Personal Life[edit]

Bror Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke and his twin brother Hans Gustaf were born to an aristocratic Swedish family at Näsbyholm Castle, Sweden to Hovjägmästare, Baron Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke and Countess Clara Krag-Juel-Wind-Frijs.

Bror Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke became engaged to his Danish second-cousin Karen Dinesen and married her in 1914 in Kenya, where they set up and ran a coffee plantation on behalf of her family.

Although the couple were divorced in 1925 (with Karen retaining the coffee plantation), she was quoted as saying, shortly before her death, "If I could wish anything back of my life, it would be to go on safari once again with Bror..."

On 1 August 1928, he married the British aristocrat Jacqueline Harriet "Cockie" Alexander.[1] When he was visited in Kenya by the Swedish adventurer and aviator Eva Dickson in 1932, while "Cockie" was visiting her mother in England, the marriage quickly ended, as he and Eva became lovers;[2] in 1935, he and "Cockie" divorced,[1] and the following year he married Eva in New York, and they spent their honeymoon together with Ernest Hemingway and his wife Martha Gellhorn sailing around Cuba and the Bahamas.[2]

In March 1938, Eva Dickson von Blixen-Finecke died in a car crash outside Baghdad, on her way back from Calcutta after having been forced to give up her big dream of driving the Silk Road to Beijing.[2] Bror von Blixen-Finecke didn't learn about her death until 28 July 1938, and he was devastated by the news,[2] he left Africa after 25 years and returned to his native Sweden, where he died in 1946, at the age of 59, from injuries following the crash of a car in which he was a passenger.

According to Beryl Markham in her memoir West with the Night, "He is six feet of amiable Swede and, to my knowledge, the toughest, most durable White Hunter ever to snicker at the fanfare of safari or to shoot a charging buffalo between the eyes while debating whether his sundown drink would be gin or whiskey."[3]

In the film Out of Africa, which is based on Karen Blixen's memoirs of the same name, the role of von Blixen-Finecke was played by Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer.

Von Blixen-Finecke's identical twin, Hans, died in a plane crash in 1917.

Big-game hunter in Africa[edit]

For many years von Blixen-Finecke ran a firm of safari guides, and among his clients was Edward, Prince of Wales. "Hunting with Blix was a magnificent experience," said one client. "With his quiet, almost lyrical narrative of what happened around us he got nature to live like I have never experienced since (from The Man Whom Women Loved, a biography of von Blixen-Finecke written by his godson Ulf Aschan)."

Writing[edit]

von Blixen-Finecke was a talented writer; his best-known book was his autobiography, African Hunter (1938), long regarded as fine Africana since its translation from Swedish in 1938 by F. H. Lyon;[4] in 1988 St. Martin's Press published a collection of bon Blixen-Finecke's letters to family and friends in a book titled Bror Blixen: The Africa Letters.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Peerage: Jacqueline Harriet Alexander Linked 2014-04-06
  2. ^ a b c d Populär Historia, 23 januari, 2009: Äventyraren Eva Dickson Archived 2014-02-20 at the Wayback Machine. (in Swedish) Linked 2014-04-06
  3. ^ Markham, Beryl. West with the night (First edition ed.). San Francisco: North Point Press. p. 201. ISBN 9780865471184. OCLC 9642470. 
  4. ^ 'African Hunter' Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke Tr. by FH Lyon. Editor's Note to the Reprint Version, (1986) by Peter Hathaway Capstick, the Peter Capstick Library, St. Martin's Press, NY ISBN 0-312-00959-3
  5. ^ 1886-1946., Blixen-Finecke, Bror, baron von, (1988). The Africa letters. Kleen, G. F. V. (1st ed ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312014686. OCLC 16923811. 
  • Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Adelslexikon I, vol. 53, Limburg (Lahn) 1972, pp. 432–433.