Fredrika Forssberg was born in Härnösand Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden. She had two siblings, but the elder sister died in first year of life and her younger sister drowned when she was 13.
The family business, Wifstavarfs AB, Svedbom-Hellzen provided good yields and therefore enabled Fredrika Limnell to generously help the women's movement. She was a benefactor of female artists; she partially financed Fredrika Bremer's trip to Palestine, and supported Selma Lagerlöf economically so she could concentrate on her writing. She held a salon for the artist elite, and gathered artists as guests at Villa Lyran, her country villa on Lake Mälaren from May–September, where Jenny Lind, Gunnar Wennerberg, Victoria Benedictsson, Carl Snoilsky, Carl David af Wirsén, Emil Sjögren, Christina Nilsson and Henrik Ibsen were among the guests. King Oscar II of Sweden also visited it.
Fredrika Limnell was a central figure in the Stockholm high society and involved in various organisations within charity, feminism and social issues. With her good connections, she was a good help to many activists within these fields. She participated in the social projects of Fredrika Bremer and Princess Eugenie of Sweden, in the ladies comitté in the foundation of the Swedish Red Cross (Svenska Röda Korset) (1864–1865) and during 1884 in the foundation in the pioneer Swedish feminist organisation Fredrika-Bremer-förbundet together with Sophie Adlersparre, Ellen Anckarsvärd, Ellen Fries, Hans Hildebrand and Gustaf Sjöberg. She financed the pioneer feminist magazine Tidskrift för Hemmet (1859) published by Rosalie Roos and Sophie Adlersparre. She was the vice chairman of Eugeniahemmet (1874–1892), a hospital for sick children founded by Princess Eugenie of Sweden which was named after her.
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“Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.”
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