Sunday, February 13, 2011


Johanna Spyri
the Helen B Dole translation
Copyright 1927 by Ginn & Company
ISBN 0-448-17339-5

Call it a desire to revisit an old friend, but when I came across this copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri I simply had to purchase it.

You see, Heidi was the first full-length novel I ever read as a youth. Heidi was a little girl, of my own age, at the time I read it, and I was enamored with her adventures on the Alm with her grandfather, The Alm-Uncle.

In Heidi we find a child who has been dealt a hard life, but who with the grace of God, learns to make something good out of even the worst situation. She touches each individual who comes into her life, blessing and enriching their lives as no other could.

In this edition of Heidi, we are given a brief biography of the author at the end of the book.

Born 1827 at Hirzel, Switzerland the author was named Johanna after her father, Dr. Johann Jacob Heusser, and was nicknamed Hanni. Her mother was a poet.

Well versed in education, and well-travelled, she eventually married a schoolmate of her brother's, Bernhard Spyri, in 1852 when she was 25.

Hanni, it is said, wrote the very first of her stories to entertain the wounded soldiers of the War of 1870. Heidi  was the very first of her longer stories, and was first published in 1880. Outliving both her husband, and only son, Hanni spent a great deal of time with a little niece, it is said she wrote many of her stories to please the child.

Hanni died in 1901 at the age of 74.

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