This definitive collection of work from Hans Christian Andersen—one of the immortals of world literature—not only includes his own notes to his stories but is the only version available in trade paperback that presents Andersen's fairy tales exactly as he collected them in the original Danish edition of 1874. Recognizing the literary merit of Andersen's own simple colloquial language, which Victorian translators and their imitators very often altered to sentimentalize or vulgarize, translator Erik Haugaard has remained faithful to the original text.
The fairy tales Hans Christian Andersen wrote, such as "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Red Shoes," and "The Nightingale," are remarkable for their sense of fantasy, power of description, and acute sensitivity, and they are like no others written before or since. Unlike the Brothers Grimm, who collected and retold folklore, Andersen adopted the most ancient literary forms of the fairy tale and the folktale and distilled them into a genre that was uniquely his own.
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Translated by Erik Hougaard, this is the only version available in trade paperback that presents the fairy tales exactly as Andersen collected them in the original Danish edition in 1874. His notes accompany the text.About the Author:
Hans Christian Andersen (1805—75) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker, who nonetheless was a great reader, made a toy-theatre for his son and taught him to notice every natural wonder as they walked in the woods together on Sundays. His father died when he was eleven, and it wasn't until six years later that, with the help of a patron, he finally went to a state secondary school attended by much youger children. There he suffered at the hands of a cruel headmaster, but he aquired an education and was determined to be a writer. He published his first novel and his first fairy tales in 1835; thereafter he wrote over 150 more of these stories which have become classics in many languages.
A lonely man who never married, he was also an anxious man; he loved travelling, but would carry a coil of rope with him in case of fire in his hotel. Although he originally addressed his fairy tales to children (and some would maintain he had a streak of childhood in his nature) he insisted they were 'for all ages', and the gentleness and humor that are their characteristics are recognized by everyone.
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