Pelle Svanslös

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Template:Infobox Novel series

Pelle Svanslös (English: Peter-No-Tail) is a fictional anthropomorphic cat created by the Swedish author Gösta Knutsson and a children's book series about him.

The series of twelve children's books based on the character was published between 1939 and 1972. The first eleven books were illustrated by Lucie Lundberg.

The books about Pelle are seen as a protest against the ever more overt support seen for national socialism in Sweden during the 1930s, and as such constitute a satire on contemporaneous society. The books have been translated to several European languages.

Characters and story[edit]

The stories take place in Uppsala, Sweden. The characters of the books are cats, however, they are often based on real people. Knutsson studied at Uppsala University and was involved with the student societies Stockholms nation and Uppsala Student Union, and many of the character are modelled on real-life people from this environment.[1]

Pelle is a kindhearted and gullible cat who is constantly being tricked and bullied by Elaka Måns ("Nasty Måns") and his helpers Bill and Bull. However, good always prevails over evil, and Pelle even gets to experience true love together with Maja Gräddnos ("Maya Cream-nose"). In the first books Pelle is a house cat in the home of the children Olle and Birgitta, but as he grows he enters a relationship with cohabitant Maja in a basement peep-hole.

Book series[edit]

  1. Pelle Svanslös på äventyr (1939)
  2. Pelle Svanslös på nya äventyr (1940)
  3. Pelle Svanslös i Amerika (1941)
  4. Pelle Svanslös Klarar sig (1942)
  5. Hur ska det gå för Pelle Svanslös? (1943)
  6. Pelle Svanslös och Taxen Max (1944)
  7. Pelle Svanslös i skolan (1945)
  8. Heja Pelle Svanslös (1946)
  9. Pelle Svanslös och Maja Gräddnos (1947)
  10. Trillingarna Svanslös (1948)
  11. Alla tiders Pelle Svanslös (1951)
  12. Pelle Svanslös ger sig inte (1972)


In 1949 the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm staged a Children's opera, Pelle Svanslös, with music by Erland von Koch. This production was subsequently presented each following year until 2001. In 1990 the stage production was filmed and shown by Sveriges Television. It featured Mark Bartholdsson as Pelle Svanslös, Iwa Sörenson as Maja Gräddnos and Magnus Lindén as elaka Måns.

In 1981 a feature animated movie about Pelle was made. In it actor Ernst-Hugo Järegård gave the voice to Elaka Måns. The Nordic Christmas calendar Pelle Svanslös was displayed in theatre format on Sveriges Television in 1997, with Björn Kjellman portraying Pelle. This in turn led to a 2001 motion picture with the title Pelle Svanslös och den stora skattjakten (Peter-No-Tail and the Great Treasure Hunt) was made. Picture books as well as two editions as a comics series have also been published. One comics was published between 1965 and 1972. A republication of the comics was started in the nineties but it was canceled early on.

Eponymous asteroids[edit]

An asteroid that was discovered in March 1993 is eponymously named 8535 Pellesvanslös. Similarly the asteroids 8534 Knutsson, 8536 Måns, 8537 Billochbull and 8538 Gammelmaja were discovered at about the same time. They were all named by Swedish astronomer Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist.

See also[edit]


  1. Sevelin, A.R., "Verklighetens Pelle Svanslös", Holmensis: Stockholms Nations Tidning no.4/2011, pp. 16–18, accessed 16 May 2012.

External links[edit]