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Johanna Spyri was born in the village of Hirzel, Switzerland on June 12, 1827. She was tutored at home and attended school both at home and in Zurich. She married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer, in 1852 and moved to Zurich. She wrote her first story, A Leaf on Vrony's Grave, in 1871. She wrote numerous stories for both children and adults, but her most famous work was Heidi, which was published in 1880. Both her husband and son died in 1884. She spent her remaining years writing, raising her niece, and doing charity work. She died on July 7, 1901. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Heidi
… (more)
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HEIDI T02 1 copy
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HEIDI #8 1 copy
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Short biography
Johanna Spyri was born Johanna Louise Heusser in Switzerland, the fourth of six children of a village doctor and his wife. Her rural home was at the foot of the Alps, just south of Zürich. As a child, she spent several summers in the area around Chur in Graubünden, a setting she would later use in her writing. She was tutored at home, attended the local school, then studied languages and piano in Zürich. In 1852, she married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer, with whom she had a son. The couple moved to a home in Zürich overlooking the lake where she wrote her first novel, A Leaf on Vrony's Grave (1871), published anonymously when she was 43 years old. Based on its success, she became a prolific author of works for adults and children. Her book Heidi's Apprenticeship Years (1880) was so popular that she produced a followup, Heidi Uses what She Has Learned (1881). Together, the two works make up the novel now called simply Heidi— the work for which she is remembered today.
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