Book Shelf – Heidi

Heidi – Johanna Spyri

“Heidi” is a popular novel written by Swiss author Johanna Spyri, published in 1881. First publication consisted out of two separated books, “Heidi’s years of learning and journeys”, and “Heidi is using her knowledge”. The book soon became known as one of the best-selling books ever written, and one of the most popular Swiss books as well.

The story is about a girl named Heidi, who lives with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps after her parents passing away, when she was only six years old. Although her grandfather lives far from civilization, and the residents of the nearest village think of him as an eccentric and recluse, he is taking a rather good care of Heidi. Rough and inaccessible at first glance, he does everything within his possibilities to provide her all the essentials, but also teaching her about the harsh life in the mountains. Heidi enjoys living with her grandfather because she is receiving enough of love and affection, also enjoying the nature around her and the comfort, security of her home.

Heidi keeps growing so her grandpa decides to return her back to the town of Frankfurt, where she could receive education suitable for becoming a lady. Heidi has to re-adapt to her city-life, far away from the nature, fresh air, freedom and her grandfather, which is causing her more effort then she had while adapting to the life in the mountain cabin.

The story has a lot resemblances with the book “Adealaide: The girl from the Alps” written by a German author Adam Von Kamp. These two books compared have a lot similarities between characters and the plot, so it is presumed Johanna Spiry was reading “Adelaide” while growing up and then used it as an inspiration for the character of Heidi.

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