Book summary: Gritli's Children

1885 BY JOHANNA SPYRI

In 1852, Johanna Heusser married Bernhard Spyri. Bernhard was a lawyer. While living in the city of Zürich she began to write about life in the country. Her first story, A Note on Vrony's Grave, which deals with a woman's life of domestic violence, was published in 1880; the following year further stories for both adults and children appeared, among them the novel Heidi, which she wrote in four weeks. Heidi is the story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, and is famous for its vivid portrayal of that landscape. The golden sunshine of a glorious June morning flooded the roses of the beautiful garden that surrounded a handsome stone villa on the banks of the Rhine. A thousand sweet perfumes borne upon the gentle breeze mounted like incense to the open windows, and sought entrance there. From a great basin in the middle of the garden, a slender shaft of water rose straight up into the blue sky, and then fell plashing back, sprinkling the flowers and the grass with sparkling moisture. Gay butterflies fluttered hither and thither, sipping sweets from the honey-laden flowers. Under the trees stood marble statues gleaming white through the shadows; and seats in sheltered nooks invited the loiterer to rest and listen to the concert of the myriad birds that made their happy homes in this paradise of summer beauty.

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