1880. Gotha: Perthes, 1880-1881.
2 vols., small 8vo, (4), 240; (4), 178 pp. Quarter green and quarter brown cloth, marbled boards, cloth tips. A very good set in original condition.
§ First editions of both parts in the original German. Last offered by Schiller at $12,500 (priced in pencil). "Throughout the 1870s Johanna Spyri (1827-1901) published stories for adults and children based around her reminiscences of growing up in rural Switzerland. But huge success came with the publication of Heidi, the most important Swiss contribution to children's literature after the "Swiss Family Robinson" of J. R. Wyss. As usual with Christmas books, the first book was published in December 1879 but dated the following year. Spyri wrote the novel in just four weeks. It was first published anonymously in German, and quickly became an international bestseller and has been translated into 50 languages (English in 1885 by Charles Tritten who later published the continuations "Heidi Grows Up" and "Heidi's Children"), sold 50 million copies, and inspired a whole series of films. Volume I was issued without the author's name on the title page but "Von der Verfasserin von 'Ein Blatt auf Vrony's Grab'" ("From the author of..."); volume II is titled "Heidi kann gebrauchen, was es gelernt hat" and was published as part V of "Geschichten für Kinder und auch für Solche, welche die Kinder lieb haben", this time under Spyri's name. Perhaps because of the fragile paper used, the first editions of the two parts of Heidi are scarce." (Peter Harrington). Loker, Grolier Children's 100, #44. Item #123849