Vilhelm Moberg (1898-1973), The Settlers
, tr. Gustaf Lannestock (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1995), p. 128:
With the new year came severe cold. Night and day they kept the fire burning. The fireplace—it was the cabin's heart and center, the capitol of the home kingdom. The hearth was the home's altar, and on that altar were sacrificed all the cords of firewood that had been cut during the summer and stacked against the cabin wall to dry. The fireplace—it was the most essential part of the home, the source of blessed warmth. The fire must not go out. In the light of the fire they performed their chores, round the altar of flames they gathered to warm their cold limbs. The fireplace gave the people in the cabin light and warmth, it was the defender of life.