Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen
Photograph taken by Thora Hallager, 1869
Photograph taken by Thora Hallager, 1869
Born(1805-04-02)2 April 1805
Odense, Funen, Kingdom of Denmark–Norway
Died4 August 1875(1875-08-04) (aged 70)
Østerbro, Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark
Resting placeAssistens Cemetery, Copenhagen
PeriodDanish Golden Age
GenresChildren's literature, travelogue
Notable worksThe Little Mermaid
The Ugly Duckling
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Little Match Girl

Hans Christian Andersen Centre

Hans Christian Andersen (ən/; Danish: [hæns kʁæstjæn ˈanɐsn̩] (About this soundlisten); 2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875) was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales, of which no fewer than 3381 works[1] have been translated into more than 125 languages,[2] 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.[3] His most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." His stories have inspired ballets, plays, and animated and live-action films.[4] One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards, skirting Copenhagen City Hall Square at the corner of which Andersen's larger-than-life bronze statue sits, is named "H.C. Andersens Boulevard."[5]

Early life

"It doesn't matter about being born in a duckyard, as long as you are hatched from a swan's egg"

"The Ugly Duckling"

Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on 2 April 1805. 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,[6] but investigations have disproved these stories).[6][7] A persistent speculation suggests that Andersen was an illegitimate son of King Christian VIII, but this notion has been challenged.[6]

Andersen's father, who had received an elementary school education, introduced his son to literature, reading to him the Arabian Nights.[8] Andersen's mother, Anne Marie Andersdatter, was an illiterate washerwoman. Following her husband's death in 1816, she remarried in 1818.[8] Andersen was sent to a local school for poor children where he received a basic education and had to support himself, working as an apprentice to a weaver and, later, to a tailor. At fourteen, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor. Having an excellent soprano voice, he was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre, but his voice soon changed. A colleague at the theatre told him that he considered Andersen a poet. Taking the suggestion seriously, Andersen began to focus on writing.

Andersen's childhood home in Odense

Jonas Collin, director of the Royal Danish Theatre, held great affection for Andersen and sent him to a grammar school in Slagelse, persuading King Frederick VI to pay part of the youth's education.[9] Andersen had by then published his first story, "The Ghost at Palnatoke's Grave" (1822). Though not a stellar pupil, he also attended school at Elsinore until 1827.[10]

He later said his years in school were the darkest and most bitter of his life. At one school, he lived at his schoolmaster's home, where he was abused, being told that it was "to improve his character". He later said the faculty had discouraged him from writing, driving him into a depression.[11]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Hans Xristian Andersen
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ганс Крыстыян Андэрсэн
davvisámegiella: Hans Christian Andersen
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Hans Christian Andersen
føroyskt: H.C. Andersen
贛語: 安徒生
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hans Christian Andersen
Bahasa Hulontalo: Hans Christian Andersen
Bahasa Indonesia: Hans Christian Andersen
íslenska: H.C. Andersen
Kreyòl ayisyen: Hans Christian Andersen
Lëtzebuergesch: Hans Christian Andersen
Lingua Franca Nova: Hans Christian Andersen
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Hans Christian Andersen
Dorerin Naoero: Hans Christian Andersen
norsk nynorsk: H.C. Andersen
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Hans Christian Andersen
Qaraqalpaqsha: Xans Kristian Anderson
Simple English: Hans Christian Andersen
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hans Christian Andersen
svenska: H.C. Andersen
vepsän kel’: Andersen Hans Kristian
Tiếng Việt: Hans Christian Andersen
吴语: 安徒生
粵語: 安徒生
中文: 安徒生