Heidi/Introduction

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"Heidi" is a delightful story for children of life in the Alps, one of many tales written by the Swiss authoress, Johanna Spyri, who died in her home at Zürich in 1891. She had been well known to the younger readers of her own country since 1880, when she published her story, Heimathlos, which ran into three or more editions, and which, like her other books, as she states on the title page, was written for those who love children, as well as for the youngsters themselves. Her own sympathy with the instincts and longings of the child's heart is shown in her picture of Heidi. The record of the early life of this Swiss child amid the beauties of her passionately loved mountain-home and during her exile in the great town has been for many years a favorite book of younger readers in Germany and America.

Madame Spyri, like Hans Andersen, had by temperament a peculiar skill in writing the simple histories of an innocent world. In all her stories she shows an underlying desire to preserve children alike from misunderstanding and the mistaken kindness that frequently hinder the happiness and natural development of their lives and characters. The authoress, as we feel in reading her tales, lived among the scenes and people she describes, and the setting of her stories has the charm of the mountain scenery amid which she places her small actors.

Her chief works, besides Heidi, were: -- Am Sonntag; Arthur und Squirrel; Aus dem Leben; Aus den Schweizer Bergen; Aus Nah und Fern; Aus unserem, Lande; Cornelli wird erzogen; Einer vom Hause Lesa; 10 Geschichten fur Yung und Alt; Kurze Geschichten, 2 vols.; Gritli's Kinder, 2 vols.; Heimathlos; Im Tilonethal; In Leuchtensa; Keiner zu Klein Helfer zu sein; Onkel Titus; Schloss Wildenstein; Sina; Ein Goldener Spruch; Die Hauffer Muhle; Verschollen, nicht vergessen; Was soll deim aus ihr werden; Was aus ihr Geworden ist. M.E.