A bustling non-fiction book about 23 different Swedish monarchs, from Gustav Vasa to present day’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, with fictionalised anecdotes, tons of historical facts and timelines, and almost 100 illustrations.
Title: Kungaliv : Sveriges regenter under 500 år
Author: Linda Linnskog Rudh, Filippo Vanzo
Publisher: Opal, 2020
All illustrations © Filippo Vanzo
Book design by Aja Eriksson.
About the Project
The publisher approached me in late 2017 to illustrate Linda Linnskog Rudh’s book about Swedish kings and queens, requiring a lot of research for historical accuracy, but also a great deal of visual storytelling for the fictionalised historical episodes of each monarch.
I consulted a variety of historical sources in order to accurately illustrate characters, locations and clothing. Between research, artwork creation and visual fact-checking, the illustrating process took almost two years.
Meet the monarchs!
Each chapter in the book features a fictionalised illustrated story from the monarch’s life, followed by an historical overview with photographs, facts and timelines.
1. Döda fallet (The Dead Fall)
Storforsen was one of Sweden’s most notable waterfalls, plunging more than 30 meters from lake Ragundasjön, in the Jämtland province.
Both lake and waterfall disappeared in a matter of just a few hours in 1796, when a flood triggered a destructive tsunami that rerouted the river to a small canal built years before by Magnus “Vild-Hussen” Huss.
Curiously enough, no one was injured during the accident. Vild-Hussen died the year after, drowning in the newly formed river while on a boat trip.