Anni Swan

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Otto Manninen and Anni Manninen in ca. 1906.

Anni Emilia Swan (married name Anni Manninen; 4 January 1875, Helsinki – 24 March 1958, Helsinki) was a Finnish writer. Swan wrote many books for children and young adults, was a journalist for children's magazines and worked as a translator. She is considered the creator of Finnish literature for girls.


Swan's father was Carl Gustaf Swan, a well-known figure of culture of his time, who founded the first newspaper of Lappeenranta. Anni Swan's mother Emilia Malin was a literature enthusiast and taught all of her nine daughters to read fairy tales and narratives at an early age.

The family lived in Lappeenranta from 1884 until the turn of the century. Swan went to an all-girls school in Mikkeli and graduated in 1895 from Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu. She became an elementary school teacher in Jyväskylä in 1900 and worked in Helsinki from 1901 to 1916. In 1907, she married writer Otto Manninen.

Swan's first collection of fairy tales, simply called Satuja ("Fairy Tales"), was published in 1901. Her first book for young adults, which was partly based on her father's recollections, was Tottisalmen perillinen ("The Heir of Tottisalmi"), published in 1917. This book is about an orphan farm-hand, Yrjö, who turns out to be, in reality, an heir to a large fortune. Her other well-known books are Iris rukka ("Poor Iris"), Ollin oppivuodet ("Olli's Apprentenceship") and Sara ja Sarri ("Sara and Sarri"). The courageous and resourceful main characters in Swan's young-adult fiction had been a role-model for many heroes and heroines in later young-adult fiction.

Swan was a journalist for the children's magazines Pääskynen (1907–1918) and Nuorten toveri/Sirkka (1919–1945). She furthermore translated, among others, Brothers Grimm and the tales of Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox as well as the first Finnish translation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

There has also been an award for young-adult fiction named after her called the Anni Swan -mitali.


  • Satuja I–III (1901–1905).
  • Pieniä satuja I–V (1906).
  • Lasten-näytelmiä (1910).
  • Tarinoita lapsille (1912).
  • Satuja ja tarinoita (1917).
  • Satuja (1920).
  • Satuja VI (1923).
  • Lastennäytelmiä II (1923).
  • Kotavuoren satuja ja tarinoita (1957).
Young adults
  • Tottisalmen perillinen (1914).
  • Iiris rukka (1916).
  • Kaarinan kesäloma (1918).
  • Ollin oppivuodet (1919).
  • Pikkupappilassa (1922).
  • Ulla ja Mark (1924).
  • Sara ja Sarri (1927).
  • Sara ja Sarri matkustavat (1930).
  • Me kolme ja Ritvan suojatit (1937).
  • Pauli on koditon (1946).
  • Arnellin perhe (1949).

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