Did you know

How well do you know Hans Christian Andersen?

Did you know:

  • As a child, Hans Christian Andersen loved to read 'A thousand and one nights', the works of Shakespeare, and novels by Walter Scott.
  • As a boy, Hans Christian Andersen sang beautifully, and was sometimes called 'The nightingale from Odense'.
  • As a young man, Hans Christian Andersen travelled to Copenhagen, where he tried to become a ballet dancer, singer and actor. Good citizens such as the well-known councillor Jonas Collin and others ensured that he recieved a royal subsidy so he could attend grammar school when he was 17 years old.
  • Many people laughed at Hans Christian Andersen as he tumbled around as a young man in Copenhagen because he was tall - much taller than most people at the time. He was considered gangly, clumsy and he had very large feet. Moreover, his clothes were often both too short and ill-fitting, as he could not afford to buy new ones.
  • Hans Christian Andersen happened to attend several executions, which horrified him. One of the executions was the beheading of a 17-year-old girl in 1825.
  • When Hans Christian Andersen wrote 'Fairytales told for children', with seven short stories including 'The Tinderbox', 'Little Claus and Big Claus', 'The Princess and the Pea' and 'Little Ida's Flowers', he unwittingly embarked on a lifetime of international fame as a children's author.
  • Hans Christian Andersen was already quite famous in Europe by 1840.
  • Hans Christian Andersen is probably the most famous foreign writer in China.
  • Chinese leader Mao tse Tung loved the works of Hans Christian Andersen.
  • Hans Christian Andersen was deeply involved in engineering and science. He was a fan of the work of the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted.
  • Hans Christian Andersen and the Danish philosopher Kirkegaard did not get along.
  • The works of Hans Christian Andersen have been translated into more than 150 languages. One of the most extensive collections of these translated works is housed by the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense.
  • In 2012, an as yet unknown fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, 'The Tallow Candle', was found.
  • When he passed away on August 4th 1875, Hans Christian Andersen was quite wealthy.

Source: Johs. Nørregaard Frandsen, H.C. Andersen Centret, SDU.