«A Happy Boy» was written in 1859 and 1860. It is, in my estimation, Bjørnson's best story of peasant life. In it the author has succeeded in drawing the characters with remarkable distinctness
, while his profound psychological insight, his perfectly artless simplicity of style, and his thorough sympathy with the hero and his surroundings are nowhere more apparent. This view is sustained by the great popularity of «A Happy Boy» throughout Scandinavia. (From the Preface)
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1903.