Hans Christian Andersen - Birthday

  • April 02, 2021
  • April 02, 2025
  • 5 sessions
  • April 02, 2021 (CDT)
  • April 02, 2022 (CDT)
  • April 02, 2023 (CDT)
  • April 02, 2024 (CDT)
  • April 02, 2025 (CDT)

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN BIRTHDAY
 
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
, Danish author and poet, wrote many poems, plays, stories and travel essays, but is best known for his fairy tales of which there are over one hundred and fifty, published in numerous collections during his life and many still in print today.

His first collection of Fairy Tales, Told for Children was published in 1835. He broke new ground for Danish literature with his style and use of idiom, irony and humor, memorable characters and un-didactic moral teaching inspired by the primitive folk tales he had learned as a child. Though they do not all end happily his Fairy Tales resound with an authenticity that only unabashed sincerity can produce from a man who could still see through a child’s eyes;

“Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.” —from “The Little Match Girl”

Andersen’s fairy tales of fantasy with moral lessons are popular with children and adults all over the world, and they also contain autobiographical details of the man himself. Born on 2 April, 1805 in Odense, on the Danish island of Funen, Denmark, he was the only son of washerwoman Anna Maria Andersdatter (d.1833) and shoemaker Hans Andersen (d.1816). They were very poor, but Hans took his son to the local playhouse and nurtured his creative side by making him his own toys. Young Hans grew to be tall and lanky, awkward and effeminate, but he loved to sing and dance, and he had a vivid imagination that would soon find its voice.  - The Literature Network

HC Andersen Website
by The University of Southern Denmark, Odense
(In Danish and English)


National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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