Andersens Fairy Tales By Hans Christian Andersen

    There are some good stories here, and some that scarred my childhood. Between dead match girls and trashed fir trees not to mention frightening Snow Queens the Thumblinias were sometimes needed. Still they last. Excuse me I didn't get much sleep last night, there was something poking my back under my 20 mattresses. Hardcover 3 stars for The little Mermaid and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Because other stories are 😴
    Tiina Nunnally, the star translator of Sigrid Undset and Tove Ditlevsen, did an amazing job updating old unfaithful translations (according to her, I don't know Danish)

    Did you know that he once visited Dickens for 5 weeks and D's family couldn't wait for him to leave? Also Dickens once found him prostrate on the lawn sobbing about a bad review. Hardcover My parents didn’t read “bedtime stories” to me when I went to bed as a child. When it was time to go to bed, it was time to “go to bed”, period! So with that in mind, many of these tales, in this short book (192 pages), were new to me. As an adult I only read three tales out of the twelve, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Pea, the other tales in the book were all new to me. The others were somewhat entertaining and probably, my younger self would have enjoyed them more.

    Hardcover Един от великите разказвачи за всички възрасти , историите му докосват с дълбочина, лиричност, приключения.
    Грозното патенце Оле затвори очички, Снежната кралица , Храбрия оловен войник ,Малката кибритопродавачка приказки които остават в световната класика актуални и днес . Сигурен съм, че всички големи и малки деца стават по-добри докосвайки се до неговото творчество . Hardcover This is an absolutely fantastic collection of Hans Christian Andersen's best work. The translation, by Tiina Nunnally, is sublime and her notes on past translations of Andersen's stories makes it clear just how sublime it is. If you wanted to read a version closer to H.C. Andersen's original, you'd have to read these in Danish.

    Jackie Wullschlager's introduction is easily one of the best I've read and an essential lens through which to better understand these tales. Short of reading Wullschlager's biography of Andersen, Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller, I think you'd be hard pressed to read a more wonderful account of Andersen's life and stories than this 32-page introduction.

    And what about the stories themselves? The stories are, of course, phenomenal. This is the first time I've read any of Andersen's stories since I was a child and, if possible, I enjoyed reading them even more as an adult. All the witticisms and references to Andersen's life that you don't pick up on as a child are to be savored as an adult.

    Many of these stories I had never read or heard before, so I was also surprised and brought back to what it was like to be a child again - so enrapturing are these tales. There are a total of 30 to be found in this lovely collection, some utterly delightful, others surprisingly dark, and still others that perhaps pale in comparison to the rest. But one thing that is for sure is that these tales are rendered by Tiiny Nunnally to be enjoyed better than ever before in English.

    1. The Tinderbox - 5 Stars

    Yes, this is a 5-star story to be sure. More folk than fairy, this tale is in fact based on an older Danish folktale that Andersen transformed with his characteristic wit. It features an A+ decapitation and glorious references to sugar-pigs, cake-wives, and social status. It's stupendous.

    2. Little Claus and Big Claus - 5 stars

    So when I saw the title for some reason I thought that this was going to have something to do with Santa Claus until I realized that, oh yes, Claus is actually a name for ordinary people as well - specifically, Germanic men. But that aside, this is a hilarious story, also based on a Danish folktale, about an awfully clever little fellow who performs some delightful tricks.

    3. The Princess on the Pea - 5 stars

    This is a simple little story but I liked it all the same. One of Andersen's more famous, it has been at last been rendered into English with the correct title (previously this was widely known in English as The Princess AND the Pea). A princess who's able to feel a pea beneath 20 mattresses and 20 quilts?? Why, that's something special indeed! How the pea didn't get squashed is something I would have enjoyed learning.

    4. Thumbelina - 5 stars

    Another Andersen classic, Thumbelina is a delightful tale and at times a bit scary. Inspired by the folktale Tom Thumb, this one concerns a little thumb-sized lady and her adventures out in the big wide world. You'll never look at moles the same way!

    5. The Traveling Companion - 5 stars

    This is the first story in the collection that I don't remember having heard before. And it is absolutely fabulous. Quite darker than the ones that preceded it as well. To call it the Danish Rumplestiltskin doesn't quite do it justice, and I actually think I liked it better than that famous Grimm Brothers' tale.

    6. The Little Mermaid - 5 stars

    The most famous of Andersen's stories and, in my opinion, the best. The Disney adaptation, which is almost more famous now than the original, is one of Disney's best films and it is still a terrible adaptation. This has it all, including an almost perfect ending. I saw almost because the last page of this feels tacked on.

    The Little Mermaid throws herself from the ship into the sea, and her body dissolves into foam. That should have been the end But instead we get a bizarre bit about daughters of the air and an obvious plea to children to be good. That tarnishes what would have otherwise been a perfect tale. But, even tarnished, this is still the great writer's best.

    7. The Emperor's New Clothes - 5 stars

    After The Little Mermaid, this is likely my favorite of Andersen's stories, and after The Little Mermaid it's also probably his most famous. You all know the story, no need for me to recap it here, but I was surprised to learn that the little boy's famous cry at the end of But he doesn't have anything on! was hastily added by Andersen after the story had already been sent off to the printer's. This is a satire as excellent and brilliant today, in the age of Trump, as ever.

    8. The Steadfast Tin Soldier - 5 stars

    Delightfully poetic. This is the first of Andersen's stories in this collection to feature inanimate objects brought to life. I'd never noticed how clearly Andersen influenced later films like Toy Story until I read this story about the quite appropriately named Steadfast Tin Soldier.

    9. The Wild Swans - 5 stars

    Another classic, albeit one I wasn't too familiar with. This one is also based on a classic European folktale, and it's got all the famous elements we see in other tales like Cinderella. Evil stepmother, a bit of magic, and the transformative power of love.

    10. The Flying Trunk - 3 stars

    This is a sort of story within a story, one involving matches and some dishware, and the other the titular trunk and a Turkish engagement. If only our rich merchant's son could have resisted the urge to set off those fireworks...

    11. The Nightingale - 5 stars

    Surprisingly sweet, this story of the Chinese Emperor and his obsession with the nightingale took a number of unexpected turns. Andersen was clearly in high spirits when he wrote this one.

    12. The Sweethearts - 4 stars

    This thought-provoking tale feels like something Andersen wrote after having become the most famous writer in Denmark (and one of the most famous in all Europe) and thinking back on when a woman he loved rejected him - and, lo and behold, it was! All I can say is, that ball deserved it.

    13. The Ugly Duckling - 5 stars

    Come on. You know you love this one. Another one with clear allusions to Andersen's life.

    14. The Fir Tree - 4 stars

    It's only once you've grown up that you realize that all that urgency to grow up was unwarranted. A reminder to slow down and savor life while you can.

    15. The Snow Queen - 5 stars

    This is one of Andersen's more beloved tales, and it features some beautiful moments and spectacular images. The first part, about the mirror, is haunting, and this more than any of Andersen's other tales seems to deal with the battle between good and evil. Reading it, I was reminded of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

    16. The Red Shoes - 3 stars

    Behave yourselves, children! Don't you wear red shoes when you ought to be wearing black ones or you'll be forced to dance dance dance!

    17. The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep - 3 stars

    Worth it just for the final line - and (they) loved each other until they broke.

    18. The Shadow - 5 stars

    Woah! I was not expecting that! This reads much more like something Franz Kafka would have written than Hans Christian Andersen. Surprisingly dark and spookily strange. There's nothing else quite like it in Andersen's oeuvre.

    19. The Old House - 4 stars

    There's something surprisingly spooky about this store, reportedly much beloved by Charles Dickens. That poor tin soldier...

    20. The Little Match Girl - 5 stars

    Speaking of Charles Dickens, this gorgeous and heartwrenching story is H.C. Andersen at his most Dickensian. The image of the Little Match Girl, shuddering with cold while staring into the windows of those whose tables were laden with New Year's feasts is absolutely haunting. One of Andersen's best.

    21. The Story of a Mother - 4 stars

    Andersen's misery at his repressed bisexuality and societal isolation made for some incredible tales, not least this one. It all begs the question: whose stories are better? Happy Hans or Miserable Hans?

    22. The Collar - 3 stars

    So I've decided I'm not as big a fan of Andersen's stories that feature inanimate objects as primary characters as much as I am the others. This one I found rather ho-hum. Though it is amusingly self-deprecating.

    23. The Bell - 3 stars

    This one was pleasant enough, but failed to leave much of an impact.

    24. The Marsh King's Daughter - 2 stars

    I thought this one was much too long, featured too many religious overtones, and was ultimately quite unmemorable. Overshadowed by many, much better, stories.

    25. The Wind Tells of Valdemar Daae and His Daughters - 2 stars

    I don't think the wind told it best.

    26. The Snowman - 4 stars

    One can once again see evidence of Andersen's suppressed desires in the Snowman's desperately wanting to be with the Stove. Something that European society at the time would have certainly found most unnatural.

    27. The Ice Maiden - 5 stars

    This fantastic story, set in Switzerland, is one of the best in the collection. Two people, stranded on the island in the little lake, until the Ice Maiden calls the other away. An image both beautiful and haunting.

    28. The Wood Nymph - 4 stars

    Beautiful, uncorrupted nature versus the corrupt hustle and bustle of the city. Andersen as environmentalist, perhaps?

    29. The Most Incredible Thing - 5 stars

    On art and those who would seek to eradicate it. Used during WWII by the Danish Resistance. Without art, without culture, there is nothing.

    30. Auntie Toothache - 4 stars

    This was the last story Hans Christian Andersen ever wrote. Andersen suffered from toothaches his entire life (19th-century European dentistry not being what it is today), and here he has his protagonist, a poet, receives a visit from the titular Auntie Toothache, who promises pain unless the poet should give up writing - forever.

    Humanity has to be grateful that Andersen himself never made such an agreement.

    yellow hardcover with clear cover Andersens Fairy Tales

    A beautiful collection of some of the greatest fairy tales in history. I enjoy Andersen more than Grimm or Aesop's fables. They seem to have more of a magical quality to them. Hardcover Kinda Boring.

    Many of the stories in this book are too long and dull. Fairly tales should be fanciful and exciting.

    Thank goodness for The Little Match Girl. Pleasantly mysterious and fascinating. But also sad.

    Many of the stories are too boring to be read in the fairy tale genre. The story is long and redundant.

    I don’t remember these stories being such when I was a child. Maybe I read different versions or editions. Hardcover Hans Christian Andersen once said, Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale. And his life certainly was an extraordinary rags to riches story.

    In all Hans Christian Andersen wrote 156 fairy tales, of which forty are in this luxury, large format edition, to represent the cream of the crop. It is a beautiful, sumptuous book, the semi-matt purple cover slightly textured and embossed, giving almost a padded feel. It has a feature reminiscent of medallions in old books; in this case an inset glossy illustration of a mermaid. The paper throughout is glossy, and most pages are bordered with patterns and old gold surrounds. Three gold colours are used; the spine is a slightly brighter gold, and the page edges are shiny and gilt-edged, plus there is a gold ribbon bookmark attached. There is an interesting introduction by the translator, Neil Philip, plus copious, carefully drawn illustrations by Isabelle Brent. These are mostly in gouache, and the illustrator makes much use of jewel colours, patterning and many magnificent gold highlights. It is a book which simply begs to be picked up.

    The choice of purple and gold is perhaps significant, since it is clear that Hans Christian Andersen believed himself to be a member of the royal family. Not only that, but he tortured himself with the belief that he was unacknowledged royalty, who had been cast out, and this conviction plagued him all his life. Interestingly, although there will probably never be any proof of Hans Christian Andersen's true birth, it is not simply an idle dream, but a genuine possibility.

    Hans Christian Andersen may have been the illegitimate son of Crown Prince Christian Frederik, later Christian VIII, and the teenage countess Elise Ahlefeldt-Laurvig. He was born in 1805 at Broholm Castle near Odense. Both Hans Christian Andersen's official parents worked at the castle, his mother as a nursemaid, and his father, a cobbler for the family. There had also been a precedent for an illegitimate daughter (Fanny) to have been adopted by another servant of the Royal family a year earlier.

    Hans Christian Andersen seems to have had a privileged position with this family. Rather than play with the other poor children, he was allowed to play with Prince Christian Frederik's son, Prince Fritz, who was three years younger than him. When this prince later died, Hans Christian Andersen was the only person, not in the family, who was allowed to view the body privately.

    When he was seven years of age, Hans Christian Andersen's official father was paid to serve in the Napoleonic wars, in place of a local landowner. He returned four years later, a broken man, and died in the Spring. Hans's mother was now destitute, with few choices as she was illiterate, so she took in washing, standing waist deep for hours in the icy river, trying to stay warm by taking nips of schnapps. Two years later she married another shoemaker, who took no interest in the young Hans.

    Hence Hans Christian Andersen grew up in heartbreaking poverty, and all his life remained self-conscious about his lower class background, despite his success. Perhaps it is because he was born poor that he was obsessed with social class, and always trying to claw his way to the top. He seemed to both worship the nobility but also resent them for holding him at arm's length. He was of course dependent on the patronage of the wealthy to create his art. Whatever the cause, Hans Christian Andersen's stories portray everyone from invented royalty, to the truly destitute. He believed, Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers.

    Hans Christian Andersen was awkward and earnest; gawky, ill-at-ease, and always feeling he was picked on by all and sundry. Many of his protagonists are obvious depictions of himself; caring a lot what other people thought of them and worried about fitting in. The Emperor's New Clothes and The Ugly Duckling are clear examples. Yet even battling all his worries, Hans Christian Andersen managed to find his voice and write his stories. In many of his stories he seems to explore ideas about wealth, self-worth, and the meaning of life.

    Many other aspects of the author's life feed into his stories, which were quite an eye-opener to read. If you think that he wrote nice stories for children, then perhaps think again. Some of them are very dark in tone, and most are quite depressing. He has been called a poet of human suffering. Story after story ends in rejection, humiliation or disappointment. Many of the stories feature a downtrodden protagonist. Sometimes the main character will work hard, and then have a wonderful fairytale ending. Perhaps they are lucky, becoming rich, or famous, or falling in love, or a combination of these. Sometimes our downtrodden protagonist works hard, and is just about to achieve fulfilment in one of these ways ... but then suddenly dies for no particular reason. Sometimes there is no change at all, and the downtrodden protagonist remains downtrodden. (And then probably dies.)

    The downtrodden protagonist is not always he. Sometimes it is a she. Or equally often it may be a household object, or a flower, a tree, or an animal. Hans Christian Andersen's stories are fantasies, like dreams or visions. The object or creature will have a personality of its own, often showing a boastful or arrogant side; it will talk to other creatures or objects ... and then die. Sometimes the story does not even seem to be a moral fable; perhaps the object does not seem to have a bad side (but it will probably die nonetheless).

    His stories often feature children—usually a perfect vision of children who are like miniature adults doing various good things. Sometimes they die too. Sometimes the protagonists do not themselves die, but lose a loved one, and must accept that God is in charge of everything—even when they do not understand the reason. And in this way, through every single story, there seems to be a common thread.

    Hans Christian Andersen's tales are full of ideas about God, angels, faith, the Bible, the afterlife, and sin. He constantly reflects on what it takes to get into heaven, the various wicked things people do, and the nature of God, love, and forgiveness. Considering that the author himself said the stories were for children, it seems remarkable that they are so preoccupied with the darker side of being human. People sin, he says, and darkness often lives in our hearts and souls. He clearly thinks that all humans are sinners and should live in fear of God, but he also keeps reinforcing the redemptive power of love and faith. Many of Hans Christian Andersen's stories end up with the characters in heaven. Although not exactly a Catholic, his views and expressed beliefs certainly inclined that way.

    Hans Christian Andersen did not start out by writing fairy tales, although that is what we remember him for. Even as a child he had artistic leanings, becoming swept up by the Tales from the Arabian Nights which his father told him, and the toy theatre his father had made. The young Hans played with this, and made clothes for his dolls, dreaming of becoming an actor, a singer or a dancer. After his father died he left home to seek his fortune in Copenhagen, committed to an artistic life. He attached himself to various well-to-do families, successfully courted the attention of wealthy and influential people, one after another, and even had his fees at the Ballet School of the Royal Theatre paid.

    However this attendance was a short-lived experience. His teachers there crushed him by saying that he lacked both the appearance and the talent necessary for the stage. Hans Christian Andersen was incredibly sensitive to slights all his life. Every cruel remark, or casual, careless comment would be taken to heart and never forgotten. So his wealthy patrons transferred their money to educating him at a private school for gentlemen. But he found this experience a torment too, saying, it will destroy my soul. It led to him writing a sentimental, maudlin poem called The Dying Child. But with a stroke of luck, the poem was published in the newspaper The Copenhagen Post in 1827, and the young man's future was assured.

    Hans Christian Andersen's first writing projects included a play, a book of poetry and a travelogue. The promising young author then won a grant from the king, and this enabled him to travel across Europe and work on being an author. He wrote a novel about his time in Italy, which was published in 1835, the same year as he began writing his stories—called eventyr, or fairy tales—and often based on ideas from folk tales that he had heard or read as a child.

    Another of his preoccupations was to try out new places. He had a wanderlust, and an urge to flee from what he considered to be provincial life. There are echoes of this in his works. In Five Peas in the Same Pod all the peas are happy until one needs to explore the world outside. In The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, the couple brave all kinds of adventures, in search of something better. There are many instances of someone trying out their wings. Hans Christian Andersen himself travelled relentlessly, but had a morbid fear of death. Wherever he laid his head, there next to him was a coil of rope which he took everywhere with him, and a handwritten notice, saying, I only seem dead. He was obsessed with the thought that he might lapse into a coma, and be buried before he could come round. In fact he kept this strange morbid dread of being buried alive through to the very day he died.

    Over the next few decades, until his death in 1875, he continued to write for both children and adults. He wrote several autobiographies, and also travel narratives and poetry about the Scandinavian people. In 1845, English translations of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and stories began to gain the attention of foreign audiences. He became a friend of Charles Dickens, who was already enormously popular, although this friendship ended in failure after Hans Christian Andersen had overstayed his welcome at the great author's home. Charles Dickens rather spitefully put up a notice on the wall of his bedroom, after Hans Christian Andersen had left. It read, Hans Christian Andersen slept in this room for five weeks—which seemed to the family AGES! It was in England that Hans Christian Andersen's stories first became classics, despite originally being written in Danish. They had a strong influence on subsequent British children's authors, including George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, A.A. Milne and Beatrix Potter. Over time, Scandinavian audiences then discovered his stories, and now of course they are known world-wide.

    Hans Christian Andersen's tales seem to have universal appeal, no matter what language they are read in. His stories express themes that transcend age and nationality—often presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity. They are written in a very chatty intimate style, which won him no favours from his original literary critics, who considered this tone inappropriate. But once he found his voice, he found he could not stop writing them, saying, They forced themselves from me. A friend once expostulated, You're capable of writing about anything - even a darning needle! And sure enough, the author rose to the challenge, in his story entitled The Darning Needle. The stories are clearly cathartic, but also full of beauty, tragedy, nature, religion, artfulness, deception, betrayal, love, death, judgement and penance. And—very occasionally—one has a happy ending.

    The author called his autobiography The Fairy Tale of my Life, and indeed his life reads like a traditional fairy tale. Think what the blurb might be:

    The son of an illiterate washerwoman and a poor cobbler, who may secretly be a royal prince, who, through sheer persistence and influential help from an unlikely source, becomes a world-famous author, in a privileged position, hobnobbing with royalty

    perhaps? Ironically, at the age of fourteen, when he left home, he had predicted this outcome, First you go through terrible suffering and then you become famous.

    Charles Perrault had collected fairy tales from many cultural traditions in 1697, and just over a century later in 1808 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected German folk and fairy tales. Later still, Hans Christian Andersen's first fairy tales followed this template of rewriting a traditional story, but in fact only eight out of a total of 156 are direct retellings of Danish folk tales. He quickly moved on to writing his own—and you can certainly tell. Every single one seems to be about an aspect of himself, and he freely admitted, I was always the chief person, the gawky ugly duckling who didn't quite fit in. His friend H.C. Orsted had said to him, [Your novel] will make you famous, but the fairy tales will make you immortal.

    I have rarely felt such ambivalence towards an author. These fairy stories are probably by the only author for whom my personal rating of works varies between one and five stars. He is an extraordinary writer, but I cannot say that I have enjoyed very many of his tales; many of them I have had to steel myself to read. It will certainly be a while before I read another big book of fairy stories, after ploughing through two collections of Tales from the Arabian Nights and now this one. The stories vary in standard and taste so much, that I have given this volume my default rating of three stars. And because of this, I have felt it necessary to review nearly all—(in fact thirty-five)—of the stories in this collection separately, whenever they have been published as individual books. Please see my shelves for links, if you wish to read my review of a particular story.

    The 40 stories in this volume are:

    The Princess and the Pea
    The Swineherd
    The Buckwheat
    The Wild Swans
    The Darning Needle
    The Nightingale
    The Teapot
    The Ugly Duckling
    The Snow Queen
    The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep
    The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree
    The Shadow
    It's Perfectly True
    Father's Always Right
    The Snowman
    The Snail and the Rose Tree
    The Fir Tree
    The Tinderbox
    Little Ida's Flowers
    The Little Mermaid
    The Emperor's New Clothes
    The Steadfast Tin Soldier
    The Flying Trunk
    The Sweethearts
    She Was No Good'
    The Bell
    The Little Match Girl
    The Collar
    The Goblin at the Grocer's
    In a Thousand Years' Time
    Five Peas from the Same Pod
    The Beetle
    The Toad
    Dance, Dance, Dolly Mine!
    The Flax
    The Gardener and his Master
    The Book of Fairy Tales Hardcover First of all: that cover. Isn't it exquisite? I think I may have been in a trance when I picked up this book, because as I read the title I was immediately transported to the days where I was read stories before bedtime. If it was my Mum turn, I received something from Hans Christian Andersen, or something very similar, but if it was Dad's turn to read me something, it was something from Tolkien (My lifelong obsession with hobbits) or as an extra, Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky: A Book of Brillig Dioramas, which was my favourite, and still is today. As one can imagine, bedtime stories with my dad were delightfully long-winded.

    This book is full of the stories I remember reading as a child, and it was wonderful to return to them. I do feel a little differently about a few of them now, but years have passed, so I expected it. There are twelve stories here, translated accordingly, and although I know some of them like the back of my hand, some of them I had completely forgotten about.

    I enjoyed returning to 'The Wild Swans' and 'The Little Mermaid' as well as 'The Snow Queen'. I think this is a beautiful book to gift to a young reader, just starting out on their adventure into the world of fairytales. Hardcover 🦆تلك البطة السوداء الشكاءة
    و هذه البجعة البرية المتحولة
    َو هذا الفتي الَمفعوص في حجم عقلة اصبع
    و ما حكاية حبة البسلة مع تلك الاميرة المدلله
    و حورية البحر البلهاء
    و ملكة الثلج و قبلاتها
    و ذلك الامير الخبيث و تلك الجميلة النائمة
    و تلك الشجرة و ذلك الظل و هذه الابرة و ذلك الجرس

    هل نتخيل طفولتنا و هي خالية من ذلك الخيال الذي منحنا ونساً خرافيا؛ و ساعات سعيدة نحلق فيها مع كتبنا الاولي البسيطة؛ المرسومة/المصورة/او المتحركة لدي المحظوظين منا

    تلك الحكايا التي شكلت وجداننا و تحولت لثوابت رغم خيالها الجامح
    اندرسن تميز عن الاخوة جريم بالتعقل و التهذيب فلم يسرح كثيرا خلف قصص من طراز امنا الغولة
    و لم يكن هدفه الاول اخافة الأطفال؛
    بل كانَ و سيظل صاحب القصص المثلي لفترة ما قبل النوم التي ستترك لعقلك الباطن عِبرة ما؛ كثيرا ما ستعود لك في العقود التي يشكلها عمرك


    characters è PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ Hans Christian Andersen