No, the cat isn’t called Zille. I’ve recently had a change of heart about the name of my publishing imprint. Egalia Books wasn’t going to work in the long run, for a variety of reasons, and I decided to cut my losses and change the name before the growth of the imprint continued even more and, most importantly, before printing any books with the wrong name! Of course it’s a small inconvenience, and I thought the task of changing email addresses, website, domain hosting, Instagram name, Facebook page, newsletter list, etc. etc., was going to be mammoth, but although it definitely took a lot of behind-the-scenes, nitty-gritty work we actually managed to get through it all in one day, and we’ve now made the change across the board.
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you all to the imprint of Zille! The name is Cille Gad’s nickname; a woman from the 17th century, from my hometown Bergen, and – at the time very rare – a female academic, cousin of Norway’s first female author, Dorothe Engelbretsdatter, and Ludvig Holberg’s friend and muse. She was a poet and culture personality with a very dramatic life, forming a love affair with a Dutch sailor and giving birth to a stillborn baby. She was accused of murdering her child, and sentenced to death. But against the odds, she saved herself when she wrote to the historian Otto Sperling, apologising for her faulty Latin, and telling him of her unhappy situation. Sperling went to the king, saying that a woman who mastered Greek and Latin could not possibly be executed. Zille was released, and travelled with her father to the University of Copenhagen and Sperling, who by this time had included her in his dictionary of learned women, De foeminis doctis. Zille stayed at the University of Copenhagen from 1708 till 1711, when she sadly died of the plague.
I’m feeling very proud to be paying this small homage to Zille by having her name at the forefront of my mission to lift up and support the magnificent energy and wisdom of women. So it’s full steam ahead – now as Zille!
(Pronounced: Zill-e / e in English “bet”)