Hans Christian Andersen

Author details

April 2, 1805
Aug. 4, 1875

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Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, to a father who claimed to be related to nobility. After school, he worked as a weaver's apprentice and as a tailor's assistant. At 14, he moved to Copenhagen to be an actor, and was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre. His career ended when his voice changed, and he decided to become a writer. He published his first story, The Ghost at Palnatoke's Grave, in 1822. An acquaintance paid all expenses to send him to grammar school in Slagelse. He also attended school at Elsinore until 1827. He later admitted that his school years were the darkest and bitterest of his life.

After school, Andersen resumed writing. In 1829, he started to see his first successes, publishing a short story, "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager", and a collection of poems. In 1833 he received a traveling grant from the King and set out to travel through Europe. He published his first novel, The Improvisatore, in 1835. He also published the first set of Fairy Tales, following up with more stories in 1836 and 1837. Although they were not initially successful, they have become …

Books by Hans Christian Andersen