Heidi, the story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps, is famous for its vivid portrayal of the landscape, and Heidi has become a personification of the Swiss alps. Her husband and her only child, a son named Bernard, both died in 1884. Alone, she devoted herself to charitable causes and wrote over fifty more stories before her death in 1901. She was interred in the family plot at the Sihlfeld-A Cemetery in Zürich. An icon in Switzerland, Spyri's portrait was placed on a postage stamp in 1951 and on a 20 CHF commemorative coin in 2001. In April 2010, a professor, who searching for children's illustrations, found a book written in 1830 by a German history teacher, Adam von Kamp, that Spyri may have used as a basis for Heidi.
The 1830 story is titled Adelheide - das Mädchen von Alpengebirge—translated, "Adelheide, the girl from the Alps". The two stories share many similarities in plot line and imagery. Spyri biographer Regine Schindler said it was entirely possible that Spyri may have been familiar with the story as she grew up in a literate household with many books. Read more on Last.fm.
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