Main content

Moomin creator Tove Jansson

The life and work of the Finnish-Swedish author, illustrator and painter best known for her children’s books set in Moominvalley.

Tove Jansson was a Finnish-Swedish author and illustrator best known for her children’s books about the Moomins. These white, hippo-like characters live in the imaginary world of Moominvalley where they subtly challenge social norms and utter philosophical statements such as "I knew nothing, but I believed a lot." While the Moomins brought Jansson worldwide fame in the 20th century, she was also a painter, an accomplished novelist and a political cartoonist who took risks poking fun at Hitler. Her work often mirrored her private life in which she defied stereotypes of the time by working and earning money for her family, travelling alone, and having relationships with both men and women.

Joining Rajan Datar to discuss the life and works of Tove Jansson are her niece, Sophia Jansson; Boel Westin - a professor of children’s literature from Stockholm University and the author of the authorised biography of Tove’s life called Life, Art, Words; and British children’s author Philip Ardagh, author of The World of Moominvalley. Plus Mayumi Tomihara - an expert on Tove Jansson from Tokyo’s Sacred Heart University who has translated many of Tove’s adult novels into Japanese.

Photo: Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson in a self-portrait with her Moomin characters (© Moomin Characters™)

Available now

41 minutes

Last on

Mon 18 Mar 2019 04:06GMT


  • Thu 14 Mar 2019 09:06GMT
  • Fri 15 Mar 2019 00:06GMT
  • Sat 16 Mar 2019 14:06GMT
  • Sun 17 Mar 2019 15:06GMT
  • Mon 18 Mar 2019 04:06GMT

Featured in...