Madita (novel)

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Madita ( Swedish Madicken ) is a fictional character by the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren . It appears in two novels (German Madita , 1961; Madita and Pims , 1976) and a story (German Look, Madita, it's snowing!, 1984). Two other stories were created as excerpts from the novels (German As Lisabet poked a pea up her nose , 1992; How good that there is Christmas vacation, said Madita , 1994). Ilon Wikland is the illustrator of all Madita books , and Anna-Liese Kornitzky translated them from Swedish into Germanand Silke von Hacht . In 1979 the novels were filmed under the direction of Göran Graffman and a television series and two feature films were produced from the material. The television series was first broadcast in Germany in 1980, but the films only came to German cinemas in 1994.

The figure and its environment

Margareta Engström, called Madita, is almost seven years old. She lives with her parents, Kajsa and Jonas Engström, her little sister Elisabet, called Lisabet, the maid Alva, the poodle Sasso and the cat Gosan on the Birkenlund estate (Swedish name: "Junibacken", meaning: "the June hill") in Sweden . Later, the youngest sister Kajsa is born. Mr and Mrs Nilsson and their fifteen-year-old son Abbe (short for Albin or Albert), Madita's best friend, live on the neighboring estate "Waldesruh" (in the original: "Lugnet", German: "the rest").

The name

Madita is not a Swedish female given name. The original Swedish name of the title heroine is Margareta in German , her Swedish nickname is Madicken .

Thanks to Astrid Lindgren's books, Madicken has become an independent first name in Sweden, and the same applies to the translation Madita created by Anna-Liese Kornitzky in German-speaking countries.


The original Madita: Astrid Lindgren's friend Anne-Marie Ingeström, known as Madicken (August 28, 1907 - 1991)

Unlike many of Astrid Lindgren's other main characters, Madita does not come from a farming family, but a bourgeois family. The role model for Madita was Astrid Lindgren's childhood friend, Anne-Marie Ingeström, the daughter of the bank director of Vimmerby, who was called "Madicken". Anne-Marie's influential father got Astrid Lindgren to attend secondary school because his daughter didn't want to part with her friend.

The First World War is mentioned several times in the original Swedish editions; These passages have been deleted from the German translations.

Plot of the two novels

Madita's father Jonas Engström is a journalist. He has unconventional views and is socially involved. He encourages Madita to hang out with people from other backgrounds, for example with the impoverished neighboring family Nilsson, which her mother initially does not like to see. Uncle Nilsson was supposed to bake donuts, but spends his days in the pub. Abbe takes on that task while Aunt Nilsson sells the donuts at the market. Abbe is greatly admired by Madita and later her best friend.

Madita is considered a difficult child, as she often has crazy ideas and a very heated temper. For example, she jumps off the roof with an umbrella, because she has heard that you can jump out of an airplane with an "umbrella" and fly in this way. Her little sister Lisabet is considered a good child, although she often behaves ugly - she pulls the cat by the tail, bites Madita's chocolate figure off the head and cannot apologize. Lisabets favorite word is "apselut" (absolute).

At first Madita had difficulties at school because she found it difficult to fit in. She invents a boy named Richard whom she blames for her wrongdoings. Again and again she gets into an argument with her classmate Mia, which usually ends in a fight.

However, Madita has a good heart and takes it very hard when someone else is bad. Unlike Lisabet, she can apologize for wrongdoing. She takes the biblical story of Joseph in the fountain to heart, and when the cheeky Mia is beaten with a cane by the rector, Madita is the only one to protest. Later, Madita and Mia become friends after Madita got herself lice from Mia and Madita's mother and Alva deloused the two girls. Madita already suspects that she is leading a privileged life - after a fight with Mia, only Mia gets into trouble from the principal, and Madita realizes that the headmaster does not want to mess things up with the editor of the newspaper.

Another important figure is Linus-Ida, a poor laundress who occasionally helps out on Birkenlund. Linus-Ida is very religious, and Madita is fascinated by her eerily beautiful songs. However, Madita's mother forbids Linus-Ida to frighten the children with stories about hell.

The mad Lindkvist keeps making the city unsafe. He is generally regretted, but people fear him because of his tantrums. Once he attacks Lisabet and once the newborn Kajsa, but everything goes well.

Madita's parents cause a scandal when they take the maid Alva to a charity ball. The snobbish “mayoress” (mayor's wife) who organized the ball is appalled and instructs all gentlemen not to dance with Engström's maid. The situation is saved by the chimney sweep, who comes in singing loudly and tells Alva to dance.

The books

Independent works

  • Madita , 1961 ( Madicken , 1960), from Swedish by Anna-Liese Kornitzky
  • Madita and Pims , 1976 ( Madicken och Junibackens Pims , 1976), from Swedish by Anna-Liese Kornitzky
  • Look Madita, it's snowing! , 1984 ( Titta, Madicken, det snöar!, 1983), from the Swedish by Silke von Hacht

Extracts from Madita

  • When Lisabet put a pea up her nose , 1992 ( När Lisabet pillade in en ärta i näsan , 1991)
  • How good that there are Christmas holidays, said Madita , 1994 ( Jullov är ett bra påhitt, sa Madicken , 1993)


  • Madita, Complete Edition , 1980 (contains Madita and Madita and Pims )
  • Madita and Lisabet from Birkenlund , 2003 (includes When Lisabet poked a pea up her nose and How good that there is Christmas holidays, said Madita )

Audio books

  • Madita: Now the snow storm is sweeping through the country , read by Ursula Illert. 2 CDs. Oetinger Audio. Unabridged reading. Together with Madita - A Summer Day on Birkenlund the complete reading of the novel Madita. ISBN 9783837310771
  • Madita - A summer day on Birkenlund , read by Ursula Illert. 2 CDs. Oetinger Audio. Unabridged reading. Together with Madita: Now the snowstorm is sweeping the country through the entire reading of the novel Madita. ISBN 9783837310511
  • Look Madita, it's snowing! , read by Manfred Steffen. 1 CD. Deutsche Grammophon Production. Reading.

Film adaptations

In Sweden, a six-part television series ( Madicken , first broadcast October 6 - November 10, 1979) and two movies ( Du är inte klok, Madicken (1979), Madicken på Junibacken (1980)) were produced.

In Germany, the film versions were broadcast on ZDF as a second Christmas series in ten parts from December 22, 1980 . On December 24, 1990, Du är inte klok, Madicken, was broadcast as a television film under the title Madita , also on ZDF. The films did not come to the cinema until 1994: Madita started on May 12, and Madita and Pim ( Madicken på Junibacken ) on November 3 .

Web links


  1. Explanation of Nordic names at
  2. Astrid Lindgren Characters at
  3. Nordic Names: Madicken at
  4. "Hvem var Astrid Lindgren?" ( Memento of the original from December 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Image series. March 26, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. “Vännerna. Anne-Marie Fries. " Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  6. IMDb: Episode guide of the six-part Swedish television series
  7. ^ Verlag Friedrich Oettinger: → Kunterbunt collected → Zeittafel