Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen

Overview
Hans Christian Andersen (ˈhanˀs ˈkʁæsdjan ˈɑnɐsn̩, referred to using the initials H. C. Andersen (ˈhɔːˀ ˈseːˀ ˈɑnɐsn̩) in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's storie
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

s. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina. After several adventures, the tin soldier perishes in a fire with the ballerina. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A...

," "The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen is a fairy tale by author Hans Christian Andersen . The tale was first published in 1845, and centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kai and Gerda....

," "The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
"The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

," "Thumbelina
Thumbelina
"Thumbelina" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Traveling Companion" in the second installment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. "Thumbelina" is about a tiny girl and...

," "The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story is about a dying child's dreams and hope, and was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media including animated film, and a television musical.-Plot summary:On a cold New Year’s...

," and "The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling
"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight , he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all...

."

During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty.
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Quotations

Far out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it: many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above. There dwell the Sea King and his subjects.

The Little Mermaid|The Little Mermaid

His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck's nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan's egg.

The Ugly Duckling|The Ugly Duckling

Every time a good child dies, an angel of God comes down to earth. He takes the child in his arms, spreads out his great white wings, and flies with it all over the places the child loved on earth. The angel plucks a large handful of flowers, and they carry it with them up to God, where the flowers bloom more brightly than they ever did on earth.

The Angel|The Angel

Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night. But the other umbrella has no pictures, and this he holds over the naughty children so that they sleep heavily, and wake in the morning without having dreamed at all.

Ole-Lukøie|Ole-Lukøie
Encyclopedia
Hans Christian Andersen (ˈhanˀs ˈkʁæsdjan ˈɑnɐsn̩, referred to using the initials H. C. Andersen (ˈhɔːˀ ˈseːˀ ˈɑnɐsn̩) in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's storie
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

s. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina. After several adventures, the tin soldier perishes in a fire with the ballerina. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A...

," "The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen is a fairy tale by author Hans Christian Andersen . The tale was first published in 1845, and centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kai and Gerda....

," "The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
"The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

," "Thumbelina
Thumbelina
"Thumbelina" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Traveling Companion" in the second installment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. "Thumbelina" is about a tiny girl and...

," "The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story is about a dying child's dreams and hope, and was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media including animated film, and a television musical.-Plot summary:On a cold New Year’s...

," and "The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling
"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight , he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all...

."

During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.

Childhood


Hans Christian Andersen was born in the town of Odense
Odense
The city of Odense is the third largest city in Denmark.Odense City has a population of 167,615 and is the main city of the island of Funen...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, on Tuesday, April 2, 1805. He was an only child. "Hans" and "Christian" are traditional Danish names.

Andersen's father considered himself related to nobility. His paternal grandmother had told his father that their family had in the past belonged to a higher social class, but investigations prove these stories unfounded. The family apparently was affiliated with Danish royalty, but through employment or trade. Today, speculation persists that Andersen may have been an illegitimate son of the royal family. Whatever the reason, King Frederick VI
Frederick VI of Denmark
Frederick VI reigned as King of Denmark , and as king of Norway .-Regent of Denmark:Frederick's parents were King Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Wales...

 took a personal interest in him as a youth and paid for a part of his education. According to writer Rolf Dorset, Andersen's ancestry remains indeterminate. Hans Christian was forced to support himself. He worked as a weaver's apprentice and, later, for a tailor. At 14, he moved to Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 to seek employment as an actor. Having an excellent soprano voice, he was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre
Royal Danish Theatre
The Royal Danish Theatre is both the national Danish performing arts institution and a name used to refer to its old purpose-built venue from 1874 located on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen. The theatre was founded in 1748, first serving as the theatre of the king, and then as the theatre of the...

, but his voice soon changed. A colleague at the theatre told him that he considered Andersen a poet. Taking the suggestion seriously, he began to focus on writing.
Jonas Collin, who, following a chance encounter with Andersen, immediately felt a great affection for him, sent him to a grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

 in Slagelse
Slagelse
Slagelse, a town in east Denmark, is in Slagelse municipality on the island of Zealand. It is about 100 km southwest of Copenhagen. The population is 31,979 ....

, covering all his expenses. Andersen had already published his first story, The Ghost at Palnatoke's Grave, in 1822. Though not a keen student, he also attended school at Elsinore
Elsinore
Helsingør is a city and the municipal seat of Helsingør municipality on the northeast coast of the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark. Helsingør has a population of 46,279 including the southern suburbs of Snekkersten and Espergærde...

 until 1827.

He later said his years in school were the darkest and most bitter of his life. At one school, he lived at his schoolmaster's home. There he was abused in order "to improve his character", he was told. He later said the faculty had discouraged him from writing in general, causing him to enter a state of depression.

Early works


In 1829, Andersen enjoyed considerable success with a short story titled "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager". He also published a comedy and a collection of poems that season. Though he made little progress writing and publishing immediately thereafter, in 1833 he received a small traveling grant from the King, enabling him to set out on the first of many journeys through Europe. At Jura
Canton of Jura
The Republic and Canton of the Jura , also known as the Canton of Jura or Canton Jura, is one of the cantons of Switzerland. It is the newest of the 26 Swiss cantons, located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. The capital is Delémont...

, near Le Locle
Le Locle
Le Locle is a municipality in the district of Le Locle in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland.It is situated in the Jura mountains, a few kilometers from the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds....

, Switzerland, he wrote the story, "Agnete and the Merman". He spent an evening in the Italian seaside village of Sestri Levante the same year, inspiring the name, The Bay of Fables. (An annual festival celebrates his visit.) In October, 1834, he arrived in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. Andersen's first novel, "The Improvisatore
The Improvisatore
The Improvisatore is an autobiographical novel by Hans Christian Andersen . First published in 1835, it was an immediate success and is considered to be Andersen's breakthrough...

", was published at the beginning of 1835, becoming an instant success. During these traveling years, Hans Christian Andersen lived in an apartment at number 20, Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. There, a memorial plaque was unveiled on May 8, 1935, a gift by Peter Schannong.

Fairy tales



It was during 1835 that Andersen published the first installment of his immortal Fairy Tales (Danish: Eventyr). More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1836 and 1837. The quality of these stories was not immediately recognized, and they sold poorly. At the same time, Andersen enjoyed more success with two novels: O.T. (1836) and Only a Fiddler.

Jeg er en Skandinav


After a visit to Sweden in 1837, Andersen became inspired by Scandinavism
Scandinavism
Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

 and committed himself to writing a poem to convey his feeling of relatedness between the Swedes, the Danes
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and the Norwegians
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. It was in July 1839 during a visit to the island of Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

 that Andersen first wrote the text of his poem Jeg er en Skandinav (I am a Scandinavian). Andersen designed the poem to capture "the beauty of the Nordic spirit, the way the three sister nations have gradually grown together" as part of a Scandinavian national anthem. Composer Otto Lindblad
Otto Lindblad
Otto Lindblad , was a Swedish composer. He is most famous for the musical score of Kungssången, the Swedish royal anthem....

 set the poem to music and the composition was published in January 1840. Its popularity peaked in 1845, after which it was seldom sung.

Travelogues


In 1851, he published to wide acclaim In Sweden, a volume of travel sketches. A keen traveler, Andersen published several other long travelogues
Travel literature
Travel literature is travel writing of literary value. Travel literature typically records the experiences of an author touring a place for the pleasure of travel. An individual work is sometimes called a travelogue or itinerary. Travel literature may be cross-cultural or transnational in focus, or...

: Shadow Pictures of a Journey to the Harz, Swiss Saxony, etc. etc. in the Summer of 1831 (A Poet's Bazaar (560), In Spain, and A Visit to Portugal in 1866 (The latter describes his visit with his Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 friends Jorge and Jose O'Neill, who were his fellows in the mid 1820s while living in Copenhagen.) In his travelogues, Andersen took heed of some of the contemporary conventions about travel writing; but always developed the genre to suit his own purposes. Each of his travelogues combines documentary and descriptive accounts of the sights he saw with more philosophical excurses on topics such as being an author, immortality, and the nature of fiction in the literary travel report. Some of the travelogues, such as In Sweden, even contain fairy-tales.

In the 1840s Andersen's attention returned to the stage, however with no great success at all. His true genius was however proved in the miscellany the Picture-Book without Pictures (1840). The fame of his fairy tales had grown steadily; a second series began in 1838 and a third in 1845. Andersen was now celebrated throughout Europe, although his native Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 still showed some resistance to his pretensions. Between 1845 and 1864, H. C. Andersen lived in 67, Nyhavn, Copenhagen, where a memorial plaque is placed.

Meetings with Dickens


In June 1847, Andersen paid his first visit to Britain and enjoyed a triumphal social success during the summer. The Countess of Blessington
Marguerite, Countess of Blessington
Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington was an Irish novelist.Born Margaret Power near Clonmel in County Tipperary, Ireland, she was a daughter of Edmund Power, a small landowner...

 invited him to her parties where intellectual and famous people could meet, and it was at one party that he met Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 for the first time. They shook hands and walked to the veranda which was of much joy to Andersen. He wrote in his diary, "We had come to the veranda, I was so happy to see and speak to England's now living writer, whom I love the most."

Ten years later, Andersen visited Britain again, primarily to visit Dickens. He stayed at Dickens' home for five weeks.

Love life


In Andersen's early life, his private journal records his refusal to have sexual relations
Celibacy
Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

.

Andersen often fell in love with unattainable women and many of his stories are interpreted as references to his sexual grief. At one point he wrote in his diary: "Almighty God, thee only have I; thou steerest my fate, I must give myself up to thee! Give me a livelihood! Give me a bride! My blood wants love, as my heart does!" A girl named Riborg Voigt was the unrequited love
Unrequited love
Unrequited love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such, even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired. The beloved may or may not be aware of the admirer's deep affections...

 of Andersen's youth. A small pouch containing a long letter from Riborg was found on Andersen's chest when he died. Other disappointments in love included Sophie Ørsted, the daughter of the physicist Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism...

, and Louise Collin, the youngest daughter of his benefactor Jonas Collin. The most famous of these was the opera soprano Jenny Lind
Jenny Lind
Johanna Maria Lind , better known as Jenny Lind, was a Swedish opera singer, often known as the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she is known for her performances in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe, and for an extraordinarily...

. One of his stories, "The Nightingale", was a written expression of his passion for Lind, and became the inspiration for her nickname, the "Swedish Nightingale". Andersen was often shy around women and had extreme difficulty in proposing to Lind. When Lind was boarding a train to take her to an opera concert, Andersen gave Lind a letter of proposal. Her feelings towards him were not the same; she saw him as a brother, writing to him in 1844 "farewell... God bless and protect my brother is the sincere wish of his affectionate sister, Jenny."

Just as with his interest in women, Andersen would become attracted to nonreciprocating men. For example, Andersen wrote to Edvard Collin: "I languish for you as for a pretty Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

n wench... my sentiments for you are those of a woman. The femininity of my nature and our friendship must remain a mystery." Collin, who only preferred women, wrote in his own memoir: "I found myself unable to respond to this love, and this caused the author much suffering." Likewise, the infatuations of the author for the Danish dancer Harald Scharff
Harald Scharff
Harald Scharff was a ballet dancer associated with the Royal Danish Theatre in the middle nineteenth century who succeeded August Bournonville as the Danish ballet's principal male dancer upon the latter's retirement from the stage...

 and Carl Alexander, the young hereditary duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
The Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was created in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach. It was raised to a Grand duchy in 1815 by resolution of the Vienna Congress. In 1877, it officially changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony , but this name was...

, did not result in any relationships.
In recent times some literary studies have speculated about the homoerotic camouflage in Andersen's works.

Death


In the spring of 1872, Andersen fell out of his bed and was severely hurt. He never fully recovered, but he lived until August 4, 1875, dying of insidious causes in a house called Rolighed
Rolighed
Rolighed was a country house in what is now the Østerbro district of Copenhagen. As a regular guest of the Melchior family, Hans Christian Andersen died there in August 1875.-History:...

(literally: calmness), near Copenhagen, the home of his close friends Moritz Melchior, a banker, and his wife. Shortly before his death, he had consulted a composer about the music for his funeral, saying: "Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat keep time with little steps." His body was interred in the Assistens Kirkegård in the Nørrebro
Nørrebro
Nørrebro is one of the 10 official districts of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is northwest of the city centre, beyond the location of the old Northern Gate , which, until dismantled in 1856, was near the current Nørreport station.-Geography:...

 area of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

.

At the time of his death, he was an internationally renowned and treasured artist. He received a stipend from the Danish Government as a "national treasure". Before his death, steps were already underway to erect the large statue in his honor, which was completed and is prominently placed in Rosenborg Garden ("Kongens Have", sculptor A.V. Saabye, 1880) in Copenhagen.

Legacy


In the English-speaking world, stories such as "Thumbelina
Thumbelina
"Thumbelina" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Traveling Companion" in the second installment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. "Thumbelina" is about a tiny girl and...

", "The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen is a fairy tale by author Hans Christian Andersen . The tale was first published in 1845, and centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kai and Gerda....

", "The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story is about a dying child's dreams and hope, and was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media including animated film, and a television musical.-Plot summary:On a cold New Year’s...

", "The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling
"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight , he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all...

", "The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
"The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

", "The Emperor's New Clothes
The Emperor's New Clothes
"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent...

", "The Steadfast Tin Soldier
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina. After several adventures, the tin soldier perishes in a fire with the ballerina. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A...

", and "The Princess and the Pea
The Princess and the Pea
"The Princess and the Pea" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a young woman whose royal identity is established by a test of her physical sensitivity. The tale was first published with three others by Andersen in an inexpensive booklet on 8 May 1835 in Copenhagen by C.A...

" remain popular and are widely read. "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling" have both passed into the English language as well-known expressions.

In the Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 harbor there is a statue of The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid (statue)
The statue of The Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the harbour of the capital of Denmark. Based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction....

, placed in honor of Hans Christian Andersen. April 2, Andersen's birthday, is celebrated as International Children's Book Day
International Children's Book Day
International Children's Book Day is a yearly event sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People , an international non-profit organization. Founded in 1967, the day is observed on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, April 2...

. The year 2005 was the bicentenary of Andersen's birth and his life and work was celebrated around the world.
In the United States, statues of Hans Christian Andersen may be found in Central Park, New York, Chicago's Lincoln Park and in Solvang, California
Solvang, California
Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. It is one of the communities that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The population was 5,245 at the 2010 census, down from 5,332 at the 2000 census...

. The Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 Rare Book and Special Collections Division holds a unique collection of Andersen materials bequeathed by the Danish-American actor Jean Hersholt
Jean Hersholt
Jean Pierre Hersholt was a Danish-born actor who lived in the United States, where he was a leading film and radio talent, best known for his 17 years starring on radio in Dr. Christian and for playing Shirley Temple's grandfather in Heidi...

. Of particular note is an original scrapbook Andersen prepared for the young Jonas Drewsen.

The city of Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 features a statue of Hans Christian Andersen in memory of his visit in 1841.

The city of Funabashi, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 has a children's theme park named after Hans Christian Andersen.

In the city of Lublin
Lublin
Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 350,392 . Lublin is also the largest Polish city east of the Vistula river...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 is the Puppet & Actor Theatre of Hans Christian Andersen.

A $13-million theme park based on Andersen's tales and life opened in Shanghai at the end of 2006. Multi-media games as well as all kinds of cultural contests related to the fairy tales are available to visitors. He was chosen as the star of the park because he is a "nice, hardworking person who was not afraid of poverty", Shanghai Gujin Investment general manager Zhai Shiqiang was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

Famous fairy tales



Some of his most famous fairy tales include:
  • The Angel
    The Angel
    "The Angel" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about an angel and a dead child gathering flowers to carry to Heaven. The tale was first published with three others in New Fairy Tales by C.A. Reitzel in November 1843. The four tales were received by the Danish critics with great...

     (1843) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Bell (1845) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Emperor's New Clothes
    The Emperor's New Clothes
    "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent...

     (1837) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Galoshes of Fortune
    The Galoshes of Fortune
    "The Galoshes of Fortune" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel in Copenhagen, Denmark on 19 May 1838 with "The True Soldier" and "That was Done by the Zombie" in "Three Poetical Works".Reitzel paid Andersen 40 rixdollars for the story. In the tale,...

     (1838) "Lykkens Kalosker"
  • The Fir Tree (1844) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Happy Family (1847)
  • The Ice Maiden (1861) "Iisjomfruen"
  • It's Quite True! (1852) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Little Match Girl
    The Little Match Girl
    The Little Match Girl is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story is about a dying child's dreams and hope, and was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media including animated film, and a television musical.-Plot summary:On a cold New Year’s...

     (1848) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Little Mermaid
    The Little Mermaid
    "The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

     (1836) University of Southern Denmark
  • Little Tuck (1847) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Nightingale (1844) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Old House (1847) University of Southern Denmark
  • Sandman (1841) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Princess and the Pea
    The Princess and the Pea
    "The Princess and the Pea" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a young woman whose royal identity is established by a test of her physical sensitivity. The tale was first published with three others by Andersen in an inexpensive booklet on 8 May 1835 in Copenhagen by C.A...

     (1835; also known as The Real Princess) University of Southern Denmark
  • Several Things
    Several Things
    Several Things is a book written by the Danish fairy tale writer and fablist Hans Christian Andersen. It was published in 1837, just after he completed The Princess and the Pea. Several Things is a multifaceted work, dealing with a multitude of subjects, several of which are of interest to the...

     (1837) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Red Shoes
    The Red Shoes (fairy tale)
    "The Red Shoes" is a fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen first published by C.A. Reitzel in Copenhagen 7 April 1845 in New Fairy Tales. First Volume. Third Collection. 1845....

     (1845) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Shadow
    The Shadow (fairy tale)
    "The Shadow" is a fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The tale was first published in 1847.- Plot summary :Once a learned man from the northern regions of Europe went on a voyage south. One night, he sat on his terrace, while the fire behind him cast his shadow on the...

     (1847) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep
    The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep
    "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The tale follows the romance between a china shepherdess and a china chimney sweep who are threatened by a carved mahogany satyr who wants the shepherdess for his wife...

     (1845)
  • The Snow Queen
    The Snow Queen
    The Snow Queen is a fairy tale by author Hans Christian Andersen . The tale was first published in 1845, and centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kai and Gerda....

     (1844) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Steadfast Tin Soldier
    The Steadfast Tin Soldier
    "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina. After several adventures, the tin soldier perishes in a fire with the ballerina. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A...

     (1838) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Story of a Mother
    The Story of a Mother
    "The Story of a Mother" is a story by the Danish poet, travel writer, short story writer, and novelist Hans Christian Andersen . The tale was first published December 1847. The story has been adapted into an animated film.-Synopsis:A mother has not slept for three days and nights watching over her...

     (1847) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Swineherd
    The Swineherd
    "The Swineherd" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a prince who disguises himself as a swineherd to woo an arrogant princess. The tale was first published 20  December 1841 by C. A. Reitzel in Copenhagen, Denmark in Fairy Tales Told for Children. New Collection. The...

     (1841) University of Southern Denmark
  • Thumbelina
    Thumbelina
    "Thumbelina" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Traveling Companion" in the second installment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. "Thumbelina" is about a tiny girl and...

     (1835) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Tinderbox (1835) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Ugly Duckling
    The Ugly Duckling
    "The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight , he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all...

     (1844) University of Southern Denmark
  • The Wild Swans
    The Wild Swans
    "The Wild Swans" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a princess who rescues her eleven brothers from a spell cast by an evil queen....

     (1838) University of Southern Denmark

Influence



Contemporary literary and artistic works inspired by Andersen's stories include:
  • "The Naked King" ("Голый Король (Goliy Korol)" 1937), "The Shadow" ("Тень (Ten)" 1940), and "The Snow Queen" ("Снежная Королева (Sniezhenaya Koroleva)" 1948) by Eugene Schwartz: reworked and adapted to the contemporary reality plays by one of Russia's most famous playwrights. Schwartz's versions of "The Shadow" and "The Snow Queen" were later made into movies (1971 and 1966, respectively).
  • Sam the Lovesick Snowman at the Center for Puppetry Arts
    Center for Puppetry Arts
    The Center for Puppetry Arts, located in Atlanta, is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to the art form of puppetry. The Center focuses on three areas: performance, education and museum. It is one of the only puppet museums in the world. The Center is located in Midtown, the city's arts...

    : a contemporary puppet show by Jon Ludwig inspired by The Snow Man.
  • The Ugly Duckling ("Гадкий утенок") (Children's opera) - Opera-Parable By Hans Christian Andersen. For Mezzo-Soprano (Soprano), Three-part Children's Choir And the Piano. 1 Act: 2 Epigraphs, 38 Theatrical Pictures. Length: Approximately 28 minutes. The opera version (Free transcription) Written by Lev Konov (Лев Конов) (1996). On music of Sergei Prokofiev
    Sergei Prokofiev
    Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

    : The Ugly Duckling, op. 18 (1914) And Visions Fugitives, op. 22 (1915–1917). (Vocal score language: Russian, English, German, French). The first representation in Moscow in 1997.
  • The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf by Kathryn Davis: a contemporary novel about fairy tales and opera
  • The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge: an award-winning novel that reworks the Snow Queen's themes into epic science fiction
  • The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey
    Kara Dalkey
    Kara Mia Dalkey is an American author of young adult fiction and historical fantasy. She was born in Los Angeles and has lived in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Seattle. Much of her fiction is set in the Heian period of Japan....

    : a lyrical adult fantasy novel set in the courts of old Japan
  • The Wild Swans by Peg Kerr: a novel that brings Andersen's fairy tale to colonial and modern America
  • Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: a romantic fantasy novel, set in early Ireland, thematically linked to "The Wild Swans"
  • Birdwing by Rafe Martin, a young adult novel that continues the tale of "The Wild Swans" with the story of Ardwin, the brother whose arm remained a wing
  • The Snow Queen by Eileen Kernaghan: a gentle Young Adult fantasy novel that brings out the tale's subtle pagan and shamanic elements
  • "The Snow Queen", a short story by Patricia A. McKillip (published in Snow White, Blood Red)
  • "You, Little Match Girl", a short story by Joyce Carol Oates (published in Black Heart, Ivory Bones)
  • "Sparks", a short story by Gregory Frost (based on The Tinder Box, published in Black Swan, White Raven)
  • "Steadfast", a short story by Nancy Kress (based on The Steadfast Tin Soldier, published in Black Swan, White Raven)
  • "The Sea Hag", a short story by Melissa Lee Shaw (based on The Little Mermaid, published in Silver Birch, Blood Moon)
  • "The Real Princess", a short story by Susan Palwick (based on The Princess and the Pea, published in Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears)
  • "Match Girl", a short story by Anne Bishop (published in Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears)
  • Le Petit Claus et le Grand Claus, (film, 1964), ((Lille Claus og store Claus) by Jacques Prévert
    Jacques Prévert
    Jacques Prévert was a French poet and screenwriter. His poems became and remain very popular in the French-speaking world, particularly in schools. Some of the movies he wrote are extremely well regarded, with Les Enfants du Paradis considered one of the greatest films of all time.-Life and...

    , and his brother Pierre Prévert, French TV 1964.
  • "The Pangs of Love", a short story by Jane Gardam
    Jane Gardam
    Jane Mary Gardam OBE is a British author of children's and adult fiction. She also reviews for the Spectator and the Telegraph, and writes for BBC radio, where her current project is six programmes on the suburbs. She lives in Kent, Wimbledon, and Yorkshire. She has won numerous literary awards,...

     (based on The Little Mermaid, published in Close Company: Stories of Mothers and Daughters)
  • "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep", (film, 1980), French, by Paul Grimault and Jacques Prévert, French title : Le Roi et l'Oiseau (the king and the bird).
  • "The Chrysanthemum Robe", a short story by Kara Dalkey (based on The Emperor's New Clothes, published in The Armless Maiden)
  • "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", a short story by Joan Vinge (published in Women of Wonder)
  • "In the Witch's Garden", a short story by Naomi Kritzer (based on The Snow Queen, published in Realms of Fantasy magazine, October 2002 issue)
  • "I Hear the Mermaids Singing", a short story by Nancy Holder
    Nancy Holder
    Nancy Holder is an American writer and the author of several novels, including numerous tie-in books based on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She's also written fiction related to several other science fiction and fantasy shows, including Angel and Smallville.Holder is a four-time winner...

     (based on The Little Mermaid)
  • "The Last Poems About the Snow Queen", a poem cycle by Sandra Gilbert (published in Blood Pressure)
  • The Little Mermaid (2005) for children's chorus, narrator, orchestra by Richard Mills
    Richard Mills
    Richard John Mills AM, DMus BA Qld, is an Australian conductor and composer. He currently works as Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera and Artistic Consultant with Orchestra Victoria...

  • "La petite marchande d'allumettes", film by Jean Renoir
    Jean Renoir
    Jean Renoir was a French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author. As a film director and actor, he made more than forty films from the silent era to the end of the 1960s...

     (1928)
  • "The Andersen Project" by Robert Lepage
    Robert Lepage
    Robert Lepage, is a playwright, actor, film director, and stage director from Québec City, Québec, and is one of Canada's most honoured theatre artists.- Life and work :...

    : Freely inspired from two stories by Andersen (The Dryad and The Shadow).
  • "The Little Mermaid (1989 movie) (Walt Disney Pictures) Based on the original story.
  • The Little Match Girl (2006 short) With the DVD Release of The Little Mermaid (Walt Disney Pictures)Based on the original story.
  • The Little Mermaid for actress, two pianos and chamber ensemble/orchestra.
  • Ponyo got its inspiration from the Little Mermaid.
  • The Little Match Girl Passion - a choral work composed in 2007 by David Lang
    David Lang (composer)
    David Lang is an American composer living in New York City. He was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music for The Little Match Girl Passion.-Biography:...

    . It won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
  • The Ghost, an episode in the third series of the British TV show Hustle
    Hustle (TV series)
    Hustle is a British television drama series made by Kudos Film and Television for BBC One in the United Kingdom. Created by Tony Jordan and first broadcast in 2004, the series follows a group of con artists who specialise in "long cons" – extended deceptions which require greater commitment, but...

    is based on the theft of an Andersen manuscript from an old English manor house.
  • A Designer's Paradise, an episode in the fourth series of the British TV show Hustle
    Hustle (TV series)
    Hustle is a British television drama series made by Kudos Film and Television for BBC One in the United Kingdom. Created by Tony Jordan and first broadcast in 2004, the series follows a group of con artists who specialise in "long cons" – extended deceptions which require greater commitment, but...

    bases a confidence trick
    Confidence trick
    A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual working alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility,...

     around the story of The Emperor's New Clothes
  • Broken Angels (Merciless in the U.S.), a novel by Richard Montanari focuses on a serial killer who murders people in accordance with Hans Christian Andersen stories. Stories included are The Nightingale, Thumbelina
    Thumbelina
    "Thumbelina" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Traveling Companion" in the second installment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. "Thumbelina" is about a tiny girl and...

    , The Red Shoes
    The Red Shoes (fairy tale)
    "The Red Shoes" is a fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen first published by C.A. Reitzel in Copenhagen 7 April 1845 in New Fairy Tales. First Volume. Third Collection. 1845....

    , The Little Match Girl
    The Little Match Girl
    The Little Match Girl is a short story by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story is about a dying child's dreams and hope, and was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media including animated film, and a television musical.-Plot summary:On a cold New Year’s...

    , The Steadfast Tin Soldier
    The Steadfast Tin Soldier
    "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a tin soldier's love for a paper ballerina. After several adventures, the tin soldier perishes in a fire with the ballerina. The tale was first published in Copenhagen by C.A...

    , The Tinderbox, What The Moon Saw, Anne Lisbeth, Little Claus and Big Claus, The Snow Man, and Little Ida's Flowers.
  • "Striking Twelve", a Staged Concert/Musical by the New York band, Groove Lily, about a grumpy guy reading "The Little Match Girl" on New Year's Eve.
  • "Until My Dancing Days are Done", a short story by Angela D. Mitchell that gave a modern gothic twist to "The Red Shoes." The story was published in Fables Magazine in October 2003, and in April 2004 was voted the 2003 Reader's Choice Award by the magazine's readers.
  • "The Song Is A Fairy-tale", 20 songs composed by Frederik Magle
    Frederik Magle
    Frederik Magle is a Danish composer, concert organist, and pianist. He studied composition and music theory with Leif Thybo and attended the Royal Danish Academy of Music where he studied composition and organ...

     based on fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen (1994).
  • "Prisoners" by Regina Spektor references Hans Christian Anderson.

See also


  • Fairy Tales Told for Children (1838)
    Fairy Tales Told for Children (1838)
    Fairy Tales Told for Children is collection of three fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen published in Copenhagen, Denmark by C. A. Reitzel on 2 October 1838...

  • Kjøbenhavnsposten
    Kjøbenhavnsposten
    Kjøbenhavnsposten was a Danish newspaper founded by A. P. Liunge in 1827.One of Hans Christian Andersen's first poems, Det døende Barn was published in the newspaper on 25 September 1827....

  • Vilhelm Pedersen
    Vilhelm Pedersen
    Thomas Vilhelm Pedersen was a Danish artist best known for being the first artist to illustrate the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen....

    , the first illustrator of Andersen's fairy tales
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales
    Grimm's Fairy Tales
    Children's and Household Tales is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales .-Composition:...

  • Fable
    Fable
    A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...


Further reading

  • Stig Dalager, Journey in Blue, historical, biographical novel about H.C.Andersen, Peter Owen, London 2006, McArthur & Co., Toronto 2006.
  • Ruth Manning-Sanders
    Ruth Manning-Sanders
    Ruth Manning-Sanders was a prolific British poet and author who was perhaps best known for her series of children's books in which she collected and retold fairy tales from all over the world. All told, she published more than 90 books during her lifetime. The dust jacket for A Book of Giants...

    , Swan of Denmark: The Story of Hans Christian Andersen, Heinemann, 1949
  • Norton, Rictor
    Rictor Norton
    Dr. Rictor Norton is an American scholar of literary and cultural history, particularly gay history. He is based in London, England.- Biography :...

     (ed.) My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters through the Centuries. Leyland Publications, San Francisco. 1998 ISBN 0-943595-71-1

External links