Category Archives: Biographies

Hans Christian Andersen

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HCA – Danish writer.  Author of many books and 212 fairy tales.

Odense, Denmark

Born in the slums of Odensen 
on April 2, 1809, son of a poor but literate shoemaker and an uneducated washwoman.  From early age, HCA was highly emotional and imaginative, although he suffered some health problems.  He enjoyed reading, writing and playing puppet shows.  At the age of 14, he left for Copenhagen, in the hopes of becoming a dancer, singer and actor.  After finishing his studies under a tutor, Andersen began to write plays for The Royal Theater of Copenhagen – all of them rejected.  It was only until 1827 whe his 1st poem “The Dying Child” was published.

Hans Christian Andersen

He then started to write impressionistic prose.  His fame grew with his different fairy tales and novels.  He also wrote autobiographies, dramas and travel books.  He also wrote many sketches about Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Portugual and the middle East, where he travelled.  More information can be found at http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/liv/index_e.html

Within his 212 fairy tales, written between 1835 and 1872, there are many titles which we are familiar with: The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The little Tin Soldier or The Ugly Duckling.

He died in Copenhagen on August 4th 1875.

During this month I will write some thoughts about his tale “The Wild Swans”, written in 1838.