4 March 2014

“It looks rather forbidding but is full of wild flowers”

Our third “Letter from Tove” comes courtesy of US author and artist Steve Richter, who wrote to Tove Jansson in 1977. In the letter Tove describes her experiences on her beloved island Klovharun, where she spent most of her summers. You can find the transcript and Steve’s memories of the letter below.

Steve Richter


Dated September 1977

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your letter! I am so very glad to know that you really like my stories! Here is the island where I live five months a year, it looks rather forbidding but is full of wild flowers. You should see the storms out there in the middle of the Finnish Gulf – Splendid. The signal mast blew down last spring. Now I am in town again and miss the loneliness. I do wish you a fine autumn!

Tove Jansson


About the letter, in Steve’s own words:

This is my letter from Tove Jansson, Finnish artist, cartoonist, novelist, and story-teller. I have been (and still am) influenced by her stories and illustrations since I first discovered her books. I wrote her a letter in 1978 (1977?) and she wrote me back. I’ve kept her letter for over 35 years.

I have read and re-read most of her books (I’m told there are a few yet I haven’t discovered!!). I have kept all of her Moomin books, and recently read each of them aloud to my wife, who had not previously heard of Tove Jansson.

Stephen Richter

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