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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875)

Andersen, Hans Christian (än’der-sen). An eminent Danish poet and story-writer; born at Odense, April 2, 1805; died on Aug. 4, 1875. Having lost his father early in childhood, the boy received his elementary education in a charity school. He traveled in Germany, 1828, making the acquaintance of Chamisso and Tieck; then he made tours in France, Italy, and the East. His impressions of Italy are embodied in ‘The Improvisatore’ (1835), the work which first gave him fame at home and abroad. In the same year appeared ‘O. T.,’ a novel of life and nature in the North. ‘Only a Fiddler’ (1837) is founded on the experiences of the author’s early life. ‘The Poet’s Bazar’ (1842) is inspired by the impressions of Oriental travel. He is seen at his very best in ‘The Picture Book without Pictures.’ Among his dramatic compositions are: ‘The Mulatto,’ a romantic play which was received with high popular favor; ‘The Flowers of Happiness,’ a comedy; ‘Raphaella,’ a romantic drama; ‘Ahasuerus,’ designed to emphasize certain problems of philosophy; ‘The Two Baronesses,’ a comedy of Danish life. In the English-speaking world Andersen’s great fame will ever rest upon his stories for children, the celebrated ‘Fairy Tales’ (1835–72). (See Critical and Biographical Introduction).