25 February 2014

Letters from Tove – “I’m so glad you like my trolls”

The second part in our “Letters from Tove” series is a 1968 letter from Tove to Emeritus Professor Trudy Harpham in the UK. In it Tove mentions a family of Atelier Fauni Moomintrolls, which we have written about earlier.

You can find the transcript and Trudy’s own words about the letter below. Thank you Trudy for sharing your letter with us.

Tove letter scan

Dated 1 November 1968

Dear Trudy Harpham,

Thank you so very much for your nice letter and the really lovely photograph of my family which I’ve put on the wall over the working table.

I’m so glad you like my trolls. What difficulties your father had to get moominmamma for your collection! Now these models aren’t made in Finland anymore, but if you want a Fillyjonk sometime I think they are for sale in England. My publisher Ernest Benn Ltd. Bouverie House, Fleet Street, London EC4 will certainly know where to get the whole lot.

I do wish you a happy autumn!

Good luck to you!

Tove Jansson


Here are Trudy’s own thoughts on her letter to Tove:

Desperate Dash for Moominmamma!

In 1966 my parents took me on holiday on a Russian cruise ship around the Baltic sea. For a ten year old, rural, English girl this was a memorable adventure and I realised that we would visit the country of my beloved Moomins. (I had been hooked since I had borrowed Moomintroll Midwinter from my school’s library). When we reached Helsinki we visited the large department store Stockmann, which sold the 1950s Atelier Fauni Moomin models. My loving parents told me I could choose three models and after difficult deliberation I selected Moomintroll, the Snork Maiden and Moominpappa. When we returned to the cruise ship I realised my little Moomin family felt so incomplete without Moominmamma and begged my father to rush back to the shop and get her. In doing so my kind Pappa nearly missed the departure of our ship and this is the story I told Tove when I wrote to her a couple of years later and sent her a picture of my little family. I also asked her where I might get a Fillyjonk.

I attach a more recent picture of my Fauni family – how Moominmamma could have lost her handbag in the intervening years I will never know. And I still yearn for a Fauni Fillyjonk….

Trudy Harpham PhD


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