Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875)

Hans left his home town of Odense, a poor boy of fourteen, to "become famous" in Copenhagen.  Andersen's lifelong and uncompromising faith in his destiny helped  him to realize his boldest dreams despite opposition.

After trying his hand at many literary forms, he began to publish his fairy tales in 1835 .  They came out in small volumes until his death.  It was only in these that his genius found its true expression.

Andersen never surpassed these fairy tales with their subtle narrative style.  Behind the straightforward meaning easily understood by children, there are deeper ones meant for adults.

And, it was to this naive and direct approach that he owed his world fame: anyone anywhere could, and can, understand him.  Of all the writers of this world, Andersen is the only one to be read everywhere.

Yet, he was to remain a very lonely man, never getting further than a romantic infatuation for women, among them the celebrated Swedish singer Jenny Lind.

His friends were all patrons rather than intimates and his constant sense of indebtedness to them wounded his pride.

Before he died his great dream came true when Odense, the town of his birth, was illuminated in his honor.
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