Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author best known for writing children's stories including "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling."

Synopsis

Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, on April 2, 1805. Andersen achieved worldwide fame for writing innovative and influential fairy tales. Many of his stories, including "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Princess and the Pea," remain classics of the genre. He died in Copenhagen on August 4, 1875.

Early Life

Hans Christian Andersen was born on April 2, 1805, in Odense, Denmark. Hans Andersen Sr. died in 1816, leaving his son and a wife, Anne Marie. While the Andersen family was not wealthy, young Hans Christian was educated in boarding schools for the privileged. The circumstances of Andersen's education have fueled speculation that he was an illegitimate member of the Danish royal family. These rumors have never been substantiated.
In 1819, Andersen traveled to Copenhagen to work as an actor. He returned to school after a short time, supported by a patron named Jonas Collin. He began writing during this period, at Collin's urging, but was discouraged from continuing by his teachers.

Writing Career

Andersen's work first gained recognition in 1829, with the publication of a short story entitled "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager." He followed this with the publication of a play, a book of poetry and a travelogue. The promising young author won a grant from the king, allowing him to travel across Europe and further develop his body of work. A novel based on his time in Italy, The Improvisatore, was published in 1835. The same year, Andersen began producing fairy tales.
Source: biography

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen

“I am going to tell a story,” said the Wind.

The fairy tales, for which Hans Christian Andersen achieved worldwide recognition, explain a great deal about the Danish soul.
Even as the tales describe the most fantastic situations, the realities of daily life in nineteenth-century Denmark provide chiaroscuro that lends the tales their depth.
Still, they contain universal truths about the human condition that have spoken to many cultures in many ages.
Source: andersen-award