Heidi Author:Johanna Spyri From the Preface: — "In this edition of Heidi the delightful atmosphere of the story, the colorful description, and the human appeal ahve been retained. The story has been slightly adapted so as to give pictures of life in a foreign country, but it is free from troublesome foreign idioms and allusions. To meet the high standard set for the cont... more »ent of the book, an effort has been made to present this classic in an attractively designed, well-bound format, with several colored illustrations that enhance the story of this long-time favorite." (poster's note -- the gorgeous colored illustrations are found inside the front and back covers of the book, while black and white illustrations appear here and there throughout the book.)
The orphan child Heidi first lives with her aunt Dete, but Dete would like to concentrate on her career. So she brings Heidi to her grandfather, a queer old man living in an alpine cottage far from the next village (he is therefore called Alm-Uncle, Alp?hi or Alm?hi in German). Alm-Uncle is good-hearted but mistrusts anybody and wants to keep the child from all evils of the world. So he refuses to send Heidi to school; instead she goes to the pastures, together with Peter, a shepherd boy looking after the goats (Geissenpeter = goat-Peter in German). This (all too harmonious) apine idyll finds a sudden end when aunt Dete comes in again and brings Heidi to Frankfurt (Germany) where she shall stay with Clara, the paralyzed daughter of a rich family, and learn something.
Thanks to the grandmother of Clara, Heidi learns to read but she can't get acquainted to the strict discipline in a bourgeois upper class house (personified by governess Fraulein Rottenmeier). She is very lonesome and gets depressed by the gray anonymous city. Heidi becomes ill of homesickness, she starts to walk in her sleep. Miss Rottenmeier is alarmed, not because of the fate of the poor child, but rather because she thinks that there are ghosts in the old house. Finally Clara's father Herr Stresemann and the sympathetic doctor of the family decide to stay up till midnight and find out about the ghosts. When the doctor sees Heidi walking around in her sleep, he finds the right diagnosis and sends her back to the alps.
Next summer, Clara visits Heidi there. They go to the pastures and Heidi shows Clara all the beauty of her world. Peter gets terribly jealous, and in a moment when he feels unobserved, he pushes the empty wheelchair down to the valley so it gets smashed. Clara wants to see the flowers and is forced to walk - and her desire is strong enough that she overcomes her handicap. Healings at body, spirit and soul in that healthy Alpine world - end well, all well.« less