Johanna Spyri [ˈʃpiːri] , born Johanna Louise Heusser (born June 12, 1827 in Hirzel , Canton Zurich ; † July 7, 1901 in Zurich ) was a Swiss writer for children and young people . She is the creator of the well-known fictional character Heidi .
Spyri was the fourth of six children of the doctor Johann Jakob Heusser and the poet Meta Heusser-Schweizer . Her older brother Jakob Christian Heusser was a geologist and mineralogist, her niece Emilie Kempin-Spyri was the first to hold a doctorate in law.
She grew up in Hirzel, a village in the canton of Zurich on Zimmerberg above Lake Zurich . At the age of fifteen she moved to live with her aunt in Zurich, where she attended school. In the summer of 1844 she went to a boarding school in Yverdon for two years to learn French. She came back a year later and lived in Hirzel until she was 25. She taught her younger siblings and helped the mother with the household.
In 1851 she got engaged to the Zurich lawyer and editor Bernhard Spyri (1821–1884), who was one of Richard Wagner's closest friends in Zurich. The wedding took place on September 9, 1852 in the Wollishofen church. The couple's first apartment was at Stadelhoferstrasse 22 in the Kleiner Fleckenhof .
In 1855 Spyri's only child, her son Bernhard Diethelm, was born. During pregnancy, Johanna fell into a deep depression that lasted for years. In September, the family moved to the Hirschengraben 10 house in the house at the Hirschli . Three years later, Bernhard Spyri bought the Bremerhaus at Hirschengraben 6 . After his appointment as town clerk, the family moved to the town house on Kratzplatz in 1868 .
The Spyris marriage was not a happy one. Johanna Spyri didn't like housework, Bernhard Spyri worked a lot and was often absent. Johanna Spyri found support in her deep friendship with Betsy Meyer, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer's sister .
Johanna Spyri's mother was related to the Bremen Johann Wichelhausen († 1818); also friends through her husband with the Bremen lawyer Hans Heinrich Spöndlin (1812–1872) and the pastor of the Church of Our Lady Bremen Cornelius Rudolph Vietor (1814–1897). This inspired Johanna Spyri to write first. She visited him in Bremen and Vietor often stayed in Zurich; and he gave his daughters to the Spyri family for a year. Pastor Vietor induced them to have some edifying stories printed and published in Bremen by the Hilgerloh and then CE Müller printers. Her first story, "Ein Blatt auf Vrony's Grab", was published in Bremen in 1871 and was a great success. It is the story of a woman who is abused by her alcoholic husband and who prays to accept her fate, as the pastor advised her. This was followed in Bremen by the stories “After the father's house”, “From earlier days”, “You haven't forgotten any” and “Lost and found”. The stories appeared under the pseudonym J.S. and were not particularly successful.
Ms. city clerk in Zurich
In 1875, "Frau Stadtschreiber Spyri" was appointed to the supervisory committee of the secondary school for girls in Zurich, where she worked until 1892.
Her first children's book “Heimathlos” contained the stories “Am Silser- und am Gardasee” and “How Wiseli's way is found” and was published in 1878 by FA Perthes in Gotha . Johanna Spyri was not named as the author, but “From the author of 'A sheet on Vrony's grave'”. For the first time on the cover there was the note “A story for children and also for those who love children”, which can be found on almost all Spyri's editions.
Success with «Heidi»
Shortly before Christmas 1879, FA Perthes also published Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre , which immediately became a great success and enabled Johanna Spyri to have a very comfortable retirement. The second volume followed in 1881, Heidi Can Use What It Has Learned . «Heidi» has been translated into more than 50 languages. The book was filmed several times. The assertion of the German scholar Peter Büttner (2010) that Johanna Spyri used the story "Adelaide, the girl from the Alps" (1830) by Hermann Adam von Kamp as a template for her "Heidi" books is controversial.
In April 1885, Spyri moved to Bahnhofstrasse 48, at the corner of Augustinergasse, for a year , then to the Escherhäuser at Zeltweg 9, where she lived until her death. During the last years of her life she wrote and traveled a lot. She had regular friendly contact with Conrad Ferdinand Meyer . When she fell ill with cancer in 1901, she was treated by the first Swiss doctor, Marie Heim-Vögtlin . Johanna Spyri died at the age of 74 and was buried in the Sihlfeld cemetery in Zurich (grave number PG 81210).
- Her husband Bernhard Spyri, son of Johann Bernhard Spyri from Amlikon , 1844 citizen of Hirzel, 1854 citizen of Zurich, was born on September 21, 1821. He was a lawyer, attorney and editor of the "Eidgenössische Zeitung". He was twice on the Cantonal Council and from 1859 to 1868 legal counsel for the city of Zurich. Bernhard Spyri died on December 19, 1884 in Zurich.
- Her son Bernhard Diethelm Spyri was born on August 17, 1855 in Zurich. After studying law in Zurich, Leipzig and Göttingen, he was secretary of the Commercial Society in Zurich. Studies and work were repeatedly interrupted by health-related stays in Davos and other places. In 1881/1882 he traveled to Argentina to see his uncle Christian Heusser, his mother's brother. In 1883/1884 he recovered on Lake Maggiore and in Pisa. Bernhard Diethelm Spyri died of tuberculosis on May 3, 1884.
Johanna Spyri's grave in the Sihlfeld cemetery
In the thirty years from 1871 until her death, Spyri published 31 books, 27 volumes of short stories and 4 brochures, a total of 48 short stories. Her estate was first kept in the Swiss Institute for Children's and Youth Media (SIKJM) in Zurich; In September 2011, the more than 1,000 letters, manuscripts, notes and documents were transferred to the Zurich Central Library .
Many of her books and texts take a critical, nothing euphemistic look at Switzerland and the living conditions of the people during the early industrialization . The fate of children and young women was particularly important to her. Your texts are therefore not only of literary but also socio-historical interest.
- 1871: A sheet on Vrony's grave ( 4th edition Bremen anno 1883 online - Internet Archive )
- 1872: To the father's house!
- 1873: From earlier days.
- 1872: None of you forgot.
- 1872: Lost and Found (From Life) (Narrative Volume)
- 1878: Homeless. (with the stories on Lake Sils and Lake Garda and How Wiseli's path is found )
- 1879: From near and far. (with the stories of Der Mutter Lied and Peppino, almost a robber story )
- 1879: Lost, not forgotten. An experience, my good friends, the young girls
- 1880: Heidi's apprenticeship and traveling years. Digitized and full text in the German text archive
- 1880: In the Rhonethal
- 1880: From our country. (with the stories at home and outside again and how it works in Waldhausen )
- 1881: On Sunday
- 1881: Heidi can use what she has learned.
- 1881: Uncle Titus stayed in the country.
- 1882: Short stories for children and also for those who love children. (with the stories at Beim Weiden-Joseph , Rosen-Resli , Der Toni von Kandergrund , And whoever has only God as a friend, he helps him in every way! and in a safe hat )
- 1883: Two popular writings (with the texts Ein goldener Spruch and How someone got there where he didn't want to go )
- 1883: Where Gritli's Children Gone . books.google ++
- 1884: Gritli's children get on. ++
- ++ both books unabridged in one volume: Gritli's children . Droemersche Verlagsanstalt Th. Knaur Nachf., Munich / Zurich 1957.
- 1885: From the life of a lawyer
- 1886: Short stories for children and also for those who love children. Second volume. (with the stories Moni the goat boy , What the grandmother's teachings do , From This, which becomes something , Am Felsensprung and What Sami sings with the birds )
- 1887: What should become of her? A story for young girls
- 1888: Artur and Squirrel.
- 1888: From the Swiss mountains. (with the stories In Hinterwald , Die Elfe von Intra and Vomrohlichen Heribli )
- 1889: What became of her. A story for young girls. - rework later by Charlotte Gottschalk: What became of Dori , Hoch-Verlag 1956
- 1890: One of the Lesa houses. A story for children and also for those who love children. (later also under the title Die Kinder vom Lesahof. The song of the mountain , and Part 2 of the original under Stefeli. Further fates of the children from Lesahof )
- 1890: Cornelli is brought up (Gotha, Friedrich Andreas Perthes)
- 1891: Folk writings by Johanna Spyri. Second volume. (with the texts In Leuchtensee and How it went with the Goldhalde )
- 1892: Wildenstein Castle.
- 1901: The Stauffer mill
- What Sami sings with the birds , 9+, Schweizerisches Jugendschriftenwerk (SJW), booklet 78
- Who has God as a friend , from 9 years, SJW booklet 79
- All for consolation , from 9 years, SJW book 80
- Lauris disease , from 9 years, SJW-Heft 81/82
- From this, which will become something , from 10 years, SJW booklet
Filming of their works
- 1954: Rosen-Resli , based on the novella from 1882
- 1920: Heidi (1920) , USA, silent film, director: Frederick A. Thomson
- 1937: Heidi (1937) , USA, very free novel adaptation based on American values of the time
- 1952: Heidi (1952) , CH, free adaptation, but close to the novel, first German-language Heidi film
- 1955: Heidi and Peter , CH, continuation of Heidi (1952) freely based on the 2nd Heidi volume
- 1965: Heidi (1965) , A, remake in color of the black and white film from 1952
- 1968: Heidi returns home USA / D
- 1974: Heidi (1974) , by Isao Takahata based on the Heidi novels from 1880
- 1978: The New Adventures of Heidi , USA, free novel adaptation
- 1993: Heidi (1993) , USA / A / LUX, free novel adaptation
- 2001: Heidi (2001) , CH, freely set into the 21st century
- 2005: Heidi (2005) , GB, 104 min, director: Paul Marcus
- 2015: Heidi (2015, film) , CH / D, director: Alain Gsponer
- Marie Frey-Uhler: Johanna Spyri 1827–1901 , biography from 12 years SJW booklet
- Jean Villain: The Written Sky , 1997
- Regine Schindler: Johanna Spyri: Searching for traces. Pendo Verlag, Zurich 1997
- Regine Schindler: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , p. 772 f. ( ). In:
- Regine Schindler: Johanna Spyri (1827–1901). New discoveries and unknown letters. Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-03823-361-9 .
- Podcast with works by Johanna Spyri
- Publications by and about Johanna Spyri in the Helveticat catalog of the Swiss National Library
- Literature by and about Johanna Spyri in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Johanna Spyri in the German Digital Library
- Johanna Spyri. In: FemBio. Women's biography research (with references and citations).
- Verena Rutschmann: Spyri, Johanna. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
- Works by Johanna Spyri at Zeno.org .
- Works by Johanna Spyri in the Gutenberg-DE project
- Works by Johanna Spyri in Project Gutenberg ( currently not usually available for users from Germany )
- Johanna Spyri in the Internet Archive
- Works in the Bibliotheca Augustana
- Johanna Spyri Museum
- Swiss Institute for Children's and Youth Media SIKJM with Johanna Spyri Archive
- Marianne Delfosse: Emilie Kempin-Spyri . In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland (HLS) . December 2, 2008 ( hls-dhs-dss.ch [accessed on May 2, 2020]).
- Herbert Black Forest : The Great Bremen Lexicon . 2nd, updated, revised and expanded edition. Edition Temmen, Bremen 2003, ISBN 3-86108-693-X .
- Bestseller 1860–1909, Basel City Library
- knerger.de: The grave of Johanna Spyri
- Regine Schindler Johanna Sypri, search for clues.
- Tages Anzeiger of September 21, 2011, p. 19.
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Swiss writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 12, 1827|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Hirzel|
|DATE OF DEATH||July 7, 1901|
|Place of death||Zurich|