Johanna Spyri (12 Jun 1827 – 7 Jul 1901) was a Swiss-born author of children's stories, and is best known for her book Heidi. Born Johanna Louise Heusser in the rural area of Hirzel, Switzerland, as a child she spent several summers in the area around Chur in Graubünden. In 1852, Johanna Heusser married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer. While living in the city of Zürich she began to write about life in the country. Her husband and her only child, named Bernard, both died in 1884. Alone, she devoted herself to charitable causes and wrote over fifty more stories.
“Heidi” is an orphan girl living 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 far from the next village. He is good-hearted but mistrusts anybody and wants to keep the child from all evils there are. So he refuses to send Heidi to school; instead she goes to the pastures, together with Peter, a shepherd boy. This alpine idyll finds a sudden end when aunt Dete comes back.