Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tove's Summer Island

Tove Jansson's niece Sophia on the island with her grandmother (Tove's mother) in 1968
This post is for MMMC, who loves the Moomins.
     I tidied up my 'office' at the weekend and found an article I'd saved from the newspaper about Tove Jansson's real Summer Island, Klovaharum, where she spent three months every summer. The island is far out in the Gulf of Finland and is so beautiful I can hardly bear it.
Klovaharum is circled, bottom left
I found this video of it on YouTube:

Tove's connection with the island is complicated -- there are actually two different islands (near each other) that she went to and two different houses on the larger, earlier island (which is where I think most of the stories in the Summer Book were first experienced for real):
The first, bigger island
Inside the little house on Klovaharum
You can go and stay on Klovaharum in Tove's house (the only house on what is little more than a rock). I can't find any info about booking it, though.
This is now the destination I'll imagine when I can't sleep.
Here's a longish biographical piece on Tove Jansson.


Makeminemidcentury said...

Wonderful post. Quite moving to see, for real, the setting of The Summer Book and I can even see some of the inspriation for some of her other short stories in Travelling Light ... the wooden bridge over the little creek features prominantly in a story; the boats; and the proximity of the islands.

And even hearing the filmer's footsteps on the rocks conjures up images of a little girl scrambling over the stones ahead of her grandmother.

How magical. Thank you Jane.

Kitsch and Curious said...

Great bit of research. I too, love the Moomins. The island is very like I imagined. Although the Summer Book is very evocative, I found it less pleasing than the simple philosophy of the Moomins. And I always love the Moomin illustrations (because I'm a big kid, I suppose).

Chrissie said...

One of my very favourite books and now so wonderful to see the real thing - and,now, do I want to visit and stay there ...?

Trish said...

Awesome photos and great work on getting it all together for the post! The Summer Book is one of my favorites now and the pictures of the island add so much to the enjoyment of the book. Love the one of Tove's mother and niece, Sophia. Many thanks!