WYSS, Johann Rudolph

Born: March 4, 1782, in Bern, Switzerland

Died: March 31, 1830, in Bern, Switzerland

Johann Rudolph Wyss was born and raised in Bern, Switzerland. His father, Rudolph David Wyss, was a chaplain in the Swiss army and served in Italy.

Johann studied at several German universities before taking the position of professor of philosophy at the academy at Bern in 1805. Later he became chief librarian of the Bern municipal library.

Wyss was known as a collector and editor of Swiss stories and folklore published in such volumes as Idyllen, Volkssagen, Legenden und Erzahlungen aus der Schweiz, compiled from 1815 to 1822, Reise im Berner Oberland, published in 1808, and Die Alpenrose, compiled from 1811 to 1830. He also authored the Swiss national anthem.

His most famous work and probably his most important was the completion and editing of Der schweizerische Robinson (Swiss Family Robinson, four volumes, compiled from 1812 to 1827), a composition originally written by his father for the reading pleasure of his sons. Generations of children in America and Europe have enjoyed the immensely popular book.