Cornelli lives in Iller-Stream with her widowed father, who calls on two Ladies of Culture to come spend time with Cornelli during one of his business trips, hoping that their influence will refine and improve his daughter. Instead, the ladies prove to have no real love for Cornelli, and she, being a sensitive soul, turns inward and becomes sullen and uncooperative. A boy who comes on a visit to Iller-Stream for his health befriends her, and this begins a chain of events that turn Cornelli's life right-side up again.
By JOHANNA SPYRI
Many writers have suffered injustice in being known as the author of but one book. Robinson Crusoe was not Defoe's only masterpiece, nor did Bunyan confine his best powers to Pilgrim's Progress. Not one person in ten of those who read Lorna Doone is aware that several of Blackmore's other novels are almost equally charming. Such, too, has been the fate of Johanna Spyri, the Swiss authoress, whose reputation is mistakenly supposed to rest on her story of Heidi.
To be sure, Heidi is a book that in its field can hardly be overpraised. The winsome, kind hearted little heroine in her mountain background is a figure to be remembered from childhood to old age. Nevertheless, Madame Spyri has shown here but one side of her narrative ability.
If, as I believe, the present story is here first presented to readers of English, it must be through a strange oversight, for in it we find a deeper treatment of character, combined with equal spirit and humor of a different kind. Cornelli, the heroine, suffers temporarily from the unjust suspicion of her elders, a misfortune which, it is to be feared, still occurs frequently in the case of sensitive children... Continue reading book >>
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