Hans Christian Andersen's unique and inventive stories.
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, in 1805. He endured a lonely, impoverished childhood consoled by little more than his own imagination. He escaped to a theatre life in Copenhagen aged fourteen, where the support of a powerful patron enabled him to complete his scant education, and to write. His poetry, novels and travel books became hugely popular. But it was his Fairy Tales, the first children's stories of their kind, published in instalments from 1835 until his death in 1875, that have immortalised him. Translated into more than 100 languages and adapted for every kind of media, they have made Andersen the most important children's writer in history.
Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales . . . have captivated
generations with their blend of plain language, unbridled
imagination and haunting strangeness * Guardian *
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are not fairy tales at all; they're too bittersweet, too knowledgeable about the way of the world for that. What they've done is provide us with many of the archetypes that sustain our Western collective unconscious * Independent *