Hans Christian Andersen

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Hans Christian Andersen in 1869.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-04-02 – 1875-08-04) was a Danish author of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, but is best known for his fairy tales which include The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Little Match Girl, and many others. His writings were originally written in his native Dutch, and, as he grew in popularity, translated to over 125 other languages. Andersen's popularity meant that he influenced hundreds of artists for generations including Kenneth Grahame, A. A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, and Beatrix Potter.


Like many children, I had heard Andersen's fairy tales as a very young child in various forms of media. One of the first I clearly remember is a Christmas audio drama album by Peter Pan Records called Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol, which included The Little Match Girl and The Fir-Tree. However, when I started reading his works in their original form as an adult, I found them to be rather dark, unpalatable, not appropriate for children, and relying on ham-fisted morals.


Andersen wrote 156 stories, but here are some of the ones that are important to me:

Title Published
The Emperor's New Clothes 1837-04-07
The Fir-Tree 1844-12-21
The Little Match Girl 1845-12-??
The Little Mermaid 1837-04-07
The Princess and the Pea 1835-05-08
The Snow Queen 1844-12-21
The Ugly Duckling 1843-11-11
Thumbelina 1835-12-16


Due his large amount of popular stories, Andersen's work has been adapted thousands of times. Here are the ones that are important to me:

Title Publisher Adapted From Released
Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol Peter Pan Records The Little Match Girl, The Fir-Tree 197?-??-??
The Enchanted World of Danny Kaye: The Emperor's New Clothes Rankin/Bass Productions The Emperor's New Clothes 1972-02-21
Frozen Disney The Snow Queen 2013-11-19
The Little Matchgirl Disney The Little Match Girl 2006-09-07
The Little Mermaid Disney The Little Mermaid 1989-11-17
The Ugly Duckling Disney The Ugly Duckling 1939-04-07