Blog Post #2: Sources

What is the story of my copy of Heidi and the book in general, by Johanna Spyri?


What type of source is it? It is a primary source.

Who created it? It was written by Johanna Spyri.

When and where was it purchased? It was purchased by my great-grandmother in 1978, somewhere in Vancouver.


What other event or developments where happening when this source was being created?   In 1881, the year it was first published, electricity and new technology was starting to revolutionize the western world.

How might they have influence the source? The plot of Heidi clearly shows a divide between two separate worlds: the bustling town of Frankfurt and the rural countryside.


What do you notice that is important about this source? This source is important to me because it has a history in my family. My great-grandmother gave it to my grandmother in 1978, and my mom gave it to me.

What is interesting? I’m not sure I completely comprehend this question, but what I find interesting about this book is how long it’s been around for, and the fact that it’s one of the best-selling books ever written.

What can’t you explain? I can’t explain why this book is still so popular, and why we find a book about a little mountain girl so charming.

Inferences about perspective:

What groups might the creator have belonged to?

Johanna Spyri was from an affluent, literate family, and may have spent time in the Swiss alps, considering the vivid imagery found in the book.

Why do you think they made the source? I think Johanna Spyri was influenced in creating Heidi by her childhood, as well as her passion for writing.

Who was their audience? According to a subtitle on one of the older versions, it was for “children, and those who love children”.

How might the background/values of the creator and audience have influenced this source? The values of the author may have influenced this source through the use of Christianity. It is one of the themes in Heidi, and may have not been included if the author was of another faith.

Inferences about Inquiry question:

What can you learn form examining this source? From examining my source, I have learned more about the history and background of this book.

Does it help you answer your inquiry question? Yes, examining my source has helped answer my inquiry question.

Does it confirm, extend, or contradict what you know? I would say that it extends what I know. I was already semi-aware of Johanna Spyri’s background, but this research furthered it.

What does it not tell you? I am still unaware of where my great-grandmother bought this copy of Heidi.

What further questions do you have? At the moment, I have one question, where did my great grandmother buy this copy of Heidi?


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