Sexton Soldier: The Multiplicity of Jonas Engel

Sexton Soldier: The Multiplicity of Jonas Engel

by Jane Nelson O'Leary

Publication Date: 24/07/2018


This story is a fictional look into the sometimes quirky life of Jonas Engel, a 19th Century Swedish soldier. His parents died when he was a teenager. His youth, typical of many Swedish country orphan peasants, was directed by the church to ensure that he would be a productive, if not lucrative, member of the parish. He apprenticed formally as a tailor, and informally as the church cemetery sexton and an occasional handyman. The church sent Jonas to the army to fulfill the assessed parish quota. Although Jonas did not seriously attempt to learn the Lutheran teachings in order to read and study the Bible in his youth, he attempted to take some directives from the Bible literally, specifically "Go forth and multiply," and he ignored others, such as the Seventh Commandment. Jonas' religious influences accompanied him when he joined the army. During his life, he fathered 24 children. The last child was born when Jonas was 73 years old. He experienced grief many times during his life. In addition to his parents, death took 2 of his wives, 6 children, 1 grandchild, his beloved horse and several dogs. Forgiveness, positivity, love, separation, and family pride challenged Jonas throughout his life. In a distant land, his closest confident and life-long companion provided her love and support to the events of their lives.

Historical fiction
Publication Date:
Jane Nelson O'Leary

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