Johanna Spyri (1827-1901) was an author of children's stories and is best known for writing 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 Graubunden, the setting she would later use in her novels.In 1852, Johanna married Bernhard Spyri, a lawyer. While living in Zurich, she began to write about life in the country. Her first book, A Leaf on Vrony's Grave, was published in 1871, and the following year further stories by Spyri--for both adults and children--appeared, among them the tale of Heidi that became an instant and enduring success. Heidi, the story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps, is famous not only for its vivid portrayal of the landscape but also for its understanding of how children see life and experience their feelings.Johanna's husband and her only child, a son named Bernhard, both died in 1884. Alone, she devoted herself to charitable causes and wrote over fifty more stories before her death in 1901. An icon in Switzerland, Johanna's portrait was placed on a postage stamp in 1951 and on a twenty-CHF (Swiss franc) commemorative coin in 2001. Coming soon...