The Emperor of Portugallia (1914) is a heart-warming story of a poor man of humble means, Jann in Skrolycka, and his limitless love for his daughter Glory Goldie Sunnycastle.
Jann is a poor man and cannot afford to have an extra mouth to feed. But when Jann first holds his daughter in his arms, his entire life changes. For the first time in his life he feels love, and the love he has for his daughter has no limits.
When Glory Goldie comes of age she cuts off her relationship with her parents and moves to Stockholm.
Later Jann suspects that she is doing other things than that which he had hoped for. But his love for her doesn’t fade. She is still the apple of his eye. But he can’t stand the psychological pain of his daughter not returning home and becomes beside himself. He begins to live in a dream world where he believes his daughter to be an empress and he therefore can make himself emperor of the rare kingdom of Portugallia.
The image of Jann is beautiful and thought provoking. Selma Lagerlöf puts a special emphasis on the fatherly love that goes beyond all boundaries. And when Jann simultaneously acquires the ability to see into the future, this image takes on a hidden and mythical quality.