In a letter to Paul Ariste, Tove Jansson wrote in 1973 that she had created an artificial word which expresses something soft. She came up with the Swedish word mumintrollet, because, in her opinion, the consonant sound of m in particular conveys a sensation of softness.
As well as nine books, they were made into comic strips and TV cartoons and even have theme parks dedicated to them.
The Moomin family consists of Moominpappa, Moominimamma and Moomintroll.
Other characters, such as Hemulens, Sniff, the Snork Maiden, Snufkin and Little My are accepted into or attach themselves to the family group from time to time, generally living separate lives in the surrounding Moominvalley, where the series is set.
Inspiration and Influence
Tove Jansson with two Moomins in her Helsinki studio in 1992. Photograph: Lehtikuva Oy/Rex
The first two books about the Moomins were published in 1945 and 1946 and deal with natural disasters; they were influenced by the upheavals of war and Jansson's depression during the war years.
Tove Jansson's life partner was the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä, whose personality inspired the character Too-Ticky in Moominland Midwinter. The Moomins, generally speaking, relate strongly to Jansson's own family – they were bohemian, lived close to nature and were very tolerant towards diversity.
Moomintroll and Snorkmaiden Greetings Cards, £2.50 each
We love the Moomins here at Five Little Diamonds- their beautiful soft appearance, beautifully written stories and messages of tolerance and love continue to inspire to this day. We are very blessed to stock some gorgeous homewares and gifts featuring our favourite lovebirds Moomintroll and Snorkmaiden, which can be found by clicking here >>>