During the nineteenth century the population in Trondheim increased dramatically, mostly due to the number of people moving into the city from the surrounding rural districts. Peter Egge's parents were part of this influx of rural youths wishing to try their luck in the capital of Trøndelag. By working hard and living frugally they managed to create a good home for their six children. Peter was the oldest of them. The family later bought the property Dronningens gate 45, where the father operated a transport business from 1885.
Peter Egge tried his hand in number of trades in Trondheim. He seemed to be especially drawn to the journalism milieu in the city. But he eventually felt that his true calling was to be a writer. After tight times he made his debut with Almue [Common people] in 1891. It is not difficult to recognise his home town in this book. Eventually his writing career blossomed and in 1899 he moved to Oslo. He never came back to live permanently in Trøndelag but was often in Trondheim, not the least in his books.
In many of his books we meet protagonists who have left the district for a life in Trondheim. Peter Egge's parents came from the county of Nord-Trøndelag, and we often meet variations on this theme and their lives in his novels. Among his best novels with plots wholly or partially set in Trondheim we find Hjertet [The Heart] (1907), Hansine Solstad (1925), Drømmen [The Dream] (1927), Gjester [Guests] (1931) and Fortid [Past] (1939, a sequel to The Dream). His book of recollections Minner fra barndom og ungdom [Recollections from childhood and adolescence] (1948) has colourful depictions of life in Trondheim from between 1870 and 1900.
Recommended reading: Helge N. Nilsen: Temaer og historisk bakgrunn i Peter Egges trondheimsdiktning [Themes and historical background in Peter Egge's novels from Trondheim]. 2002.