Heidi – a success story

Heidi – a success story -

Both children’s books “Heidi’s Years of Wandering and Learning” and “Heidi Makes Use of What she has Learned”, written by Johanna Spyri between 1880 and 1881, are among the best-known children’s books in the world. With her Heidi books, Johanna Spyri created a romantic, ideal and typical image of Switzerland that is still widely held today.

A summer evening on the mountain
[...] Heidi bid her good night and continued her way up the mountain, her basket on her arm. All around her the steep green slopes shone bright in the evening sun, and soon the great gleaming snow field up above came in sight. Heidi was obliged to keep on pausing to look behind her, for the higher peaks were behind her as she climbed. Suddenly a warm red glow fell on the grass at her feet; she looked back again – she had not remembered how splendid it was, nor seen anything to compare to it in her dreams – for there the two high mountain peeks rose into the air like two great flames, the whole snow-field had turned crimson, and rosy-coloured clouds floated in the sky above. The grass upon the mountain sides had turned to gold, the rocks were all aglow, and the whole valley was bathed in golden mist. And as Heidi stood gazing around her at all this splendor the tears ran down her cheeks for very delight and happiness, and impulsively she put her hands together, and lifting her eyes to heaven, thanked God aloud for having brought her home, thanked Him that everything was as beautiful as ever, more beautiful even than she had thought, and that it was all hers again once more. And she was so overflowing with joy and thankfulness that she could not find words to thank Him enough. Not until the glory began to fade could she tear herself away. Then she ran on so quickly that in a very little while she caught sight of the tops of the fir trees above the hut roof, then the roof itself, and at last the whole hut, and there was grandfather sitting as in old days smoking his pipe, and she could see the fir trees waving in the wind. Quicker and quicker went her little feet, and before Alm Uncle had time to see who was coming, Heidi had rushed up to him, thrown down her basket and flung her arms round his neck, unable in the excitement of seeing him again to say more than „Grandfather! Grandfather! Grandfather!“ over and over again. [...] 

Johanna Spyri, „Heidi“, 1880
Childrenʼs Classics, 1998