Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen was born on April 2, 1805 in Odense, Denmark. He was an only child. His father, also named Hans, introduced him to literature by reading Arabian Nights. 

Andersen moved to Copenhagen at the age of 14, hoping to get work as an actor. He was accepted at the Royal Danish Theatre as a soprano, but when his voice changed, he began writing.

King Frederick VI took a personal interest in 17-year-old Hans and paid for part of his education. He published his first story in 1822. He wrote more than 160 fairy tales, many of which began as folktales told to him as a child.

His birthday is celebrated as International Children's Book Day.

Hans Christian Andersen and The Ugly Duckling. Central Park, New York

Hans traveled extensively. In England, he met Charles Dickens and they became friends. Ten years later, he returned to England to visit again. After overstaying his welcome on a five-week visit to the Dickens home, Andersen's letters to Dickens went unanswered.

Danny Kaye as Andersen in the 1952 Film. This was one of my favorite movies when I was a child.

The Danish Government paid him an annual stipend and considered him a national treasure.

Hans Christian Andersen. City Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Andersen often fell in love with unattainable women and in later years was attracted to nonreciprocating men. He never married.

The Little Mermaid. Langelinje Pier in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1872, he fell out of his bed and never recovered from his injuries. He died on August 4th, 1875. 

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