Andersen , was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues , novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's fairy tales, consisting of stories across nine volumes  and translated into more than languages,  have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness , readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. Andersens Boulevard. He was an only child. His father, also named Hans, considered himself related to nobility his paternal grandmother had told his father that their family had belonged to a higher social class,  but investigations have disproved these stories. Andersen's father, who had received an elementary school education, introduced his son to literature, reading to him the Arabian Nights. Following her husband's death in , she remarried in
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Hans Christian Andersen, born in Denmark in , practically invented the writing of eventyrs ; the adventure fairy tale, or fantastic tale. Although he wrote a broad range of work, including plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, it was his fairy tales that became culturally iconic in the Western world. His tales transcend age barriers, national and cultural boundaries and have been translated into more than languages. Many of his stories are featured in our collection of Favorite Fairy Tales. His stories have inspired countless plays, ballets, and movies. Andersen also blessed us with one of the saddest but most poignant and beautiful Christmas stories of all time, The Little Match Girl also known as The Little Matchstick Girl. We encourage teachers and students to use our Study Guide.
Who Was Hans Christian Andersen?
However, few people know much about the man behind these famous fairy tales—a man who endured many hardships and, by some accounts, transformed his pain into art. As a boy, he was teased for his appearance and high-pitched voice, which often made him feel isolated, and he later wrote a story about a boy named Hans who gets made fun of as a child. Paul Binding, a literary critic who penned a book about Andersen, said the long-lasting appeal of his stories go beyond their authenticity, though. In the original which you can read online for free here , an unnamed mermaid who falls in love with a prince is offered the chance to take a human form, even though she'll live in perpetual agony and has to have her tongue cut out. The mermaid's goal—besides love—is to gain an immortal soul, which is only possible if the prince falls in love with her and marries her. After the prince marries someone else, however, the mermaid contemplates murdering him, but instead accepts her fate and throws herself into the sea, where she dissolves into sea foam. The mermaid is greeted by spiritual beings who say they'll help her get into heaven if she does good deeds for years. Though his works have been reproduced in more than languages, not all of them have been faithful retellings. Andersen met his literary hero, Charles Dickens , at an aristocratic party in They kept in touch, and a decade later Andersen came to stay with Dickens at the British author's home in Kent, England.
Hans Christian Andersen , born April 2, , Odense , near Copenhagen , Denmark—died August 4, , Copenhagen , Danish master of the literary fairy tale whose stories achieved wide renown. He is also the author of plays, novels, poems, travel books, and several autobiographies. While many of those works are almost unknown outside Denmark , his fairy tales are among the most frequently translated works in all of literary history. Andersen, who was born to poor parents, fought the rigid class structure of his time throughout his life. The first significant help came from Jonas Collin, one of the directors of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, to which Andersen had gone as a youth in the vain hope of winning fame as an actor. Collin raised money to send him to school.