Karen Blixen’s paternal and maternal families
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Relationship between the Dinesen and Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs families:
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As can be seen from the chart, Wilhelm Dinesen’s maternal aunt, Thyra Valborg Haffner, was married to the premier nobleman in Denmark, Count C.E. Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs, who owned the estate of Frijsenborg, near Hammel, northwest of Århus. Wilhelm Dinesen had three cousins living at Frijsenborg and therefore often visited the estate when he was young.

Later, Karen Blixen also visited the estate, where she had four second cousins, one of whom, Anna Margrethe Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs, called “Daisy”, was her closest friend. Daisy married the Danish ambassador in London, Henrik Grevenkop-Castenskiold, but she died young, aged 29. The collection Karen Blixen i Danmark. Breve 1931-62 (Karen Blixen in Denmark. Letters 1931-62, not translated into English) shows that after she returned from Africa she resumed contact with her second-cousins, especially Inger (married to Count Julius Wedel) and Sophie (married to Erich Bernstorff-Gyldensteen).

The family tree also shows that Clara Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs – in Letters from Africa called Aunt Clara – was Karen Blixen’s father’s cousin. Clara married the Swedish Baron Frederik von Blixen-Finecke. They had four daughters and three sons, two of whom were the twins Hans and Bror, and when Karen married Bror von Blixen-Finecke, Aunt Clara also became her mother-in-law. Bror Blixen and Karen Blixen were therefore second-cousins.

Karen Blixen’s brother, Thomas Dinesen, has written about the Dinesen family in Boganis. Min fader, hans slægt, hans liv og hans tid, 1972.