Hans Christian Andersen

Fairy Tales and Stories

Hans Christian Andersen quotes

“Everything you look at can become a fairy tale and you can get a story from everything you touch.”


“Where words fail, music speaks.”

“Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”


“To travel is to live.”


“Every man's life is a fairy tale, written by God's fingers.”


“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live.”


“Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up.”

The life of Hans Christian Andersen

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.

Despite his success as a writer up to this point, Andersen did not initially attract attention for his writing for children. His next novels, O.T. and Only a Fiddler, remained critical favorites. Over the following decades, he continued to write for both children and adults, penning several autobiographies, travel narratives and poetry extolling the virtues of the Scandinavian people. Meanwhile, critics and consumers overlooked volumes including the now-classic stories "The Little Mermaid" and "The Emperor's New Clothes." In 1845, English translations of Andersen's folktales and stories began to gain the attention of foreign audiences. Andersen forged a friendship with acclaimed British novelist Charles Dickens, whom he visited in England in 1847 and again a decade later. His stories became English-language classics and had a strong influence on subsequent British children's authors, including A.A. Milne and Beatrix Potter. Over time, Scandinavian audiences discovered Andersen's stories, as did audiences in the United States, Asia and across the globe. In 2006, an amusement park based on his work opened in Shanghai. His stories have been adapted for stage and screen, including a popular animated version of "The Little Mermaid."

Death

Andersen sustained a serious injury in 1872 after falling from bed in his Copenhagen home. His final publication, a collection of stories, appeared the same year.

Around this time, he started to show signs of the liver cancer that would take his life. The Danish government began commemorating Andersen's life and work before his death. Plans got under way to erect a statue of the author, whom the government paid a "national treasure" stipend. Andersen died on August 4, 1875, in Copenhagen.

Personal Life

Although he fell in love many times, Andersen never married. He directed his unrequited affections at both men and women, including the famed singer Jenny Lind and Danish dancer Harald Scharff. Andersen's personal life has fueled academic analyses of possible homoerotic themes in his work.

Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid (1975)
Danny Kaye - Hans Christian Andersen

The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center

Saturday, June 6th 2015 at 11am

At the Hans Christian Andersen statue "The Ugly Duckling" near 72nd Street & Fifth Avenue. in Central Park, New York.

On Saturdays all summer long for more than 50 years, New York children have gathered around Hans Christian Andersen's statue at the Conservatory Pond in Central Park to hear his tales told by a fine ensemble of storytellers. Celebrity performers such as Victor Borge, Eva la Gallienne, Fanny Hurst and Celeste Holm have also visited, telling their favorite stories. For more details visit http://hcastorycenter.org/
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The Hans Christian Andersen Museum

The fairy tale writer's birthplace is situated in the old precinct. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum opened in 1908 as a museum of the poet's life and work, making it one of the oldest poet museums.The exhibitions will take you back to the time Hans Christian Andersen's works originated from. You are presented with the man Hans Christian Andersen, his distinctive appearance and his mind. The poet's creative range is shown through his drawings and art.The museum contains all modern facilities and you can explore Hans Christian Andersen's universe, leaf through his books via PC and hear his tales at the many listening posts.The museum shop has a comprehensive selection of books in several languages about and by Hans Christian Andersen.