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