Hans Christian Andersen

Easton Press Hans Christian Andersen books

Andersen's Fairy Tales and Stories (2 volume set) - 1977
Stories and Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (2 volume deluxe edition with slip case)

Franklin Library Hans Christian Andersen books

Fairy Tales - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1977
Fairy Tales - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1977
Fairy Tales - World's Best Loved Books - 1977

Who is Hans Christian Andersen?

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) Danish writer, was known as the "children's poet", born in Odense, Denmark. Andersen was brought up in poverty, with little instruction and few associates, but his narrative gifts were stimulated by the fables of the French author Jean de La Fontaine and the collection of Oriental fairy tales know as the Arabian Nights. The visit of a theatrical company to Odense, in 1818, led him to seek his dramatic fortune in Copenhagen (1819). Andersen's first important work was a journey on Foot from Holm Canal to the East Point of Amager (1829); Fantasies and Sketches followed in 1831. In 1835 Hans Christian Andersen began the Fairy Tales (first series, 1835; second series, 1838-42; third series, 1845; last series, 1871-72). Though at first little esteemed by the general public and by Hans Christian Andersen himself, these pieces are now generally considered his most valuable works. They included some of the most popular of all stories for children, and are often favorably compared with the true folk tales contained in such collections as those of the German mythologist Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are like exquisite jewels, drawing from us gasps of recognition and delight. Writing in the midst of a Europe-wide rebirth of national literature, Anderson broke new ground with his fairy tales in two important ways. First, he composed them in the vernacular, mimicking the language he used in telling them to children aloud. Second, he set his tales in his own land and time, giving rise to his loving descriptions of the Danish countryside. In contrast to such folklorists as the Brothers Grimm, Anderson’s tales are grounded in the real and often focus on the significance of small or overlooked things.

Hans Christian Andersen's true literary breakthrough came with the publication of Fairy Tales, Told for Children (1835). This collection included some of his most beloved stories, such as The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Princess and the Pea. Andersen's fairy tales combined elements of folklore, morality, and whimsy, and they were initially geared toward a young audience. However, their universal themes and enduring appeal transcended age boundaries.

Andersen's fairy tales were translated into numerous languages, gaining international acclaim. His stories resonated with readers worldwide, and his ability to convey profound moral lessons through enchanting narratives solidified his reputation as a master storyteller. Andersen's writing style was characterized by a graceful blend of poetic language and vivid imagery. He crafted tales that explored themes of love, resilience, and the transformative power of kindness. While celebrated for his fairy tales, Andersen also wrote novels, plays, and travelogues, showcasing the breadth of his literary talents.

Andersen's travels across Europe allowed him to meet several prominent figures of his time, including Charles Dickens and Søren Kierkegaard. His personal correspondence, including letters to friends and confidantes, provides insights into his thoughts and experiences. In the latter part of his life, Andersen continued to write, expanding his repertoire to include novels and autobiographical works. His contributions to literature were acknowledged with various honors, including a knighthood bestowed upon him by King Christian IX of Denmark in 1867.

How did Hans Christian Andersen die?

Hans Christian Andersen passed away on August 4, 1875, in Copenhagen. The exact cause of his death is still a subject of speculation and debate among historians and scholars. Andersen suffered from various health issues during his later years, including liver cancer and complications from cirrhosis. Some sources suggest that he may have died of complications related to these health problems. However, the precise cause of his death remains uncertain, and it is challenging to determine with absolute certainty due to the limited medical knowledge and documentation available from that period. His legacy, however, lives on through the timeless enchantment of his fairy tales. Andersen's stories have inspired countless adaptations, including plays, ballets, and animated films. His impact on children's literature and storytelling endures, with his fairy tales remaining cherished classics that continue to captivate readers of all ages across the globe.

The Fairy Tales

Little Claus and big Claus
Princess on the pea
Traveling companion
Little mermaid
Emperor's new clothes
Steadfast tin soldier
Wild swans
Flying trunk
Ugly duckling
Fir tree
Snow queen
Red shoes
Shepherdess and the chimney sweep
Old house
Little match girl
Story of a mother
Marsh King's daughter
Wind tells of Valdemar Daae and his daughters
Ice maiden
Wood nymph
Most incredible thing
Auntie toothache

Hans Christian Andersen quotes

"To travel is to live."

"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale."

"Where words fail, music speaks."

"Enjoy life. There's plenty of time to be dead."

"The whole world is a series of miracles, but we're so used to them we call them ordinary things."

"Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

"But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more."

"When you are at your lowest, look to your highest."

"The most wonderful thing in the world is somebody who knows who they are and what they are created to do."

"But time – time is always running out. And it takes us with it."

"The most lasting treasure is treasure shared."

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