Lydia Koidula (24 December 1843 – 11 August 1886)
Lydia Emilie Florentine Jannsenknown after her pen name Lydia Koidulawas an Estonian poet. Her nickname means 'Lydia of the Dawn' in Estonian. It was given her by the writer Carl Robert Jakobson. She is also frequently referred to as Koidulaulik – 'Singer of the Dawn'.
In Estonia, like elsewhere in Europe, writing was not considered a suitable career for a respectable young lady in the mid-nineteenth-century.
Koidula's poetry and her newspaper work for her populist father, Johann VoldemarJannsen (1819–1890) remained anonymous. In spite of this, she was a major literary figure, the founder of Estonian theatre.
Lydia Jannsen was born in Vyandra,Parma County, Governorate of Livonia (now in central Estonia). The family moved to the nearby county town of Pyarnu in 1850 where, in 1857, her father started the first local Estonian language newspaper and where Lydia attended the German grammar school.
Lydia’s father was the publisher of two local newspapers. She wrote for the newspapers and besides that published her own works.
In 1873 she married Eduard Michelson, a Latvian army physician, and moved to Kronstadt, the headquarters of the Russian navy near St. Petersburg.
Koidula lived in Kronstadt for 13 years but despite spending her summers in Estonia, she never stopped feeling inconsolably homesick. Lydia Koidula was the mother of three children. She died on August 11, 1886 after a long and painful illness. Her last poem was Ennesurma- Eestimaale! (Before Death, To Estonia!).