Undset had to relinquish her ambitions to be a painter after her father's death left her having to support herself from the age of 16. Her early novels, of which the most successful was Jenny, caused controversy through their frank portrayal of sexual love and infidelity. She is best known for her historical trilogy Kristin Lavran's Daughter (1920–2), the first part of which has been made into a film directed by Liv Ullmann. In these novels, set in medieval times, she draws on the language and style of the sagas to tell the story of Kristin's dramatic life, combining a richly detailed description of the period with a deep psychological insight as Kristin struggles with her feelings of love and guilt, and the need for self-fulfilment set against social and religious conventions and responsibilities. Undset won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.
George Eliot, Theodor Fontane, Robert Graves KB