She was a pioneer of Finnish historical fiction and one of the first woman journalists in Finland. She wrote in Swedish. Born in a borgeoise family in Jakobstad, Fredrika Tengström lived most of her youth in Turku, the then capital of Finland.
The family settled in Porvoo and had seven sons.
The only daughter died an infant. Fredrika Runeberg was the first Finnish author to critically analyze the status of women, at home and in the society.
Her oevre includes the two historical novels, Fru Catharina Boije och hennes döttrar (1858), set in Finland during the Great Northern War, and Sigrid Liljeholm (1862), set in the Cudgel War. She also contributed to various newspapers and magazines, and translated foreign literature and articles, mostly from French, German and English, into Swedish.
According to a legend, Fredrika Runeberg is the creator of the famous Finnish pastry, the Runeberg torte, although her recipe is also said to be based upon an earlier recipe by confectioner Lars Astenius from Porvoo.
The torte is typically served on Johan Ludvig Runeberg"s birthday, on February 5, which is an established flag day in Finland. The torte tradition has spread all over Finland, commemorating the country"s national poet. Home museum
Shortly after her death, the Runeberg family home in Porvoo was made into a museum in 1882, being one of the most popular sights in town.
Fredrika Runeberg Stipendium
The laureates include prominent people like Elisabeth Rehn (1996), Märta Tikkanen (2001), Eva Biaudet (2006), and Astrid Thors (2011).