Johann David Wyss

writer of the Swiss Family Robinson

1743   -   1818

country of citizenship: Switzerland
occupation: writer, children's writer

Johann David Wyss German pronunciation: [ˈjoːhan ˈdaːfɪd ˈviːs] (May 28, 1743 in Bern – January 11, 1818 in Bern) was a Swiss author, best remembered for his book The Swiss Family Robinson (Der schweizerische Robinson) (1812). It is said that he was inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, but wanted to write a story from which his own children would learn, as the father in the story taught important lessons to his children. The Swiss Family Robinson was first published in German in 1812 and translated into English two years later. It has since become one of the most popular books of all time. The book was edited by his son, Johann Rudolf Wyss, a scholar who wrote the Swiss national anthem. Another son, Johann Emmanuel Wyss, illustrated the book. Unlike his son Johann Rudolf, who died at the age of 48, Johann David Wyss lived up to the age of 74, dying in 1818. Wyss has been described as an author whose style was "firmly Christian and moral in tone".
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