Hans Christian Andersen
2 April 1805 - 4 August 1875
The Magical Storyteller
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales have been translated into over 150 languages and are still published by the millions all over the world.
At the age of 17 Anderson had published his first story titled "The Ghost at Palnatoke's Grave", following which he was enrolled into a grammar school in Slagelse through an accidental meeting with Jonas Collin whom paid for all of Andersen's expenses.
His next successful release was a short story, "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager", published in 1829.
It wasn't until 1833 that he had put out anything noteworthy when he was commissioned by the King to travel Europe and keep journals of his travels. During which time he wrote the dramatic poem entitled "Agnete and the Merman" and released his first novel, "The Improvisatore" which was very successful.
The first of Andersen's fairy tales were published between 1835 and 1837 and did not sell very well, although he had much success with two novels, O.T. and Only a Fiddler, released in 1836. He also released the "Ugly Duckling" which is still widely known today.
Andersen released numerous poems, short stories, and travelogues between 1837 and his death in 1875. Among them were also his world renowned Fairy Tales, "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Match Girl", and "The Snow Queen", only to name a few.
Since his death the world has paid tribute to him and his literary contributions to mankind by erecting statues, holding annual puppet theaters, and even construction huge theme parks in his honor.
Andersen's Personal Life
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark. His father died when he was 11 which cast young Andersen into apprenticeship for both basket weaving and as a tailor for survival. He also worked in a cigarette factory until the age of fourteen.
In 1819 Andersen moved to Copenhagen and was admitted into the Royal Danish Theater as a soprano until his voice changed in adolescence. A colleague of Andersen's had often referred to him as a poet, so being that he was no longer in the theater he poured himself into writing.
He was helped early on in life by Jonas Collin who paid for Andersen's grammar education which was later described as being the darkest, most bitter parts of his life by Andersen himself.
Andersen never married and had no children... for what is known, this man who gave the world so much, loved but was never loved as anything more than a friend or an exceptional writer / poet.
Famous Works of Hans Christian Andersen
The number of stories Hans Christian Andersen wrote is incredible. Below are only some of his most famous stories. Most of these are accepted as common childhood stories all over the world, and they have also inspired ballets, movies and cartoons in newer times.
- The Snow Queen
- The Little Match Girl
- The Little Mermaid
- The Emperor's New Clothes
- The Ugly Duckling
- The Princess and the Pea
- The Red Shoes
- The Steadfast Tin Soldier
- The Tinder Box
- The Wild Swans
- Aunty Toothache
- Little Ida's Flowers
- Little Claus and big Claus
- The Nightingale
- The Travelling Companion