/arts-days/april/02

April 02

Hans Christian Andersen

In a harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark, perched on a rock and forever staring out at the sea, is a statue of Andersen’s beloved character, the Little Mermaid.

1805: Father Goose
Hans Christian Andersen is born in Odense, Denmark
You may have had fairy tales read to you when you were a little kid, but did you know they were written more than a hundred years ago—in Denmark? Generations of children around the world know and love Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales from “The Ugly Duckling” to “The Princess and the Pea.”

Even though he was Danish, some of the stories he wrote have inspired figures of speech common in the English language, like “the emperor has no clothes,” from the tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” And more than one of his stories, like “The Little Mermaid,” have been turned into a feature film movie. Somehow, Andersen’s stories feel ageless, not tied to a particular time or place, which may be one reason why they continue to enchant young listeners today, no matter where they happen to live.
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