Hans Christian Andersen Summary
Hans Christian Andersen: A Great Life in Brief recreates and celebrates the life of a teller of tales born 150 years earlier.
Although it is but one of innumerable Andersen biographies, Godden's work is distinctive, uncommonly readable, and inviting. As a writer of fiction, Godden brings her seasoned storyteller's craft to the task of rendering sensitively, but not sentimentally, a rich account of Hans, the mercurial man and his matchless work. The familiar facts of Andersen's life find expression in his tales, and Godden fuses fact and fiction beautifully in this book.
Andersen, a "lonely, gentle, grotesque figure," was well acquainted with despair and happiness, heartache and joy.
Failure, however, never deterred him long from his stalwart determination to write. Ultimately, late in life, he achieved near-global recognition far beyond anything he expected. Andersen has written, "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale."... View more of the Hans Christian Andersen Summary
The Hans Christian Andersen Study Pack contains about 492 pages of study material in 25 products, including:
Hans Christian Andersen Short Guide
Rumer Godden Biography (5)
881 words, approx. 3 pages
The Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) enjoyed fame in his own lifetime as a novelist, dramatist, and poet, but his fairy tales are his great contribution to world literature.Hans Chris...
3,135 words, approx. 11 pages
Hans Christian Andersen, recognized as one of the masters of the fairy-tale genre, based much of his work on his own life. "Recollections of childhood and youth," wrote Reginald Spink in Hans Christia...
15,358 words, approx. 52 pages
During his lifetime, Hans Christian Andersen was well known in both Europe and the United States for his novels, fairy tales, and stories, as well as for his literary travel books and autobiography. S...
9,262 words, approx. 31 pages
Godden's early years were spent in India. "Our father, 'Fa,' worked for one of the oldest of the Indian Inland Navigation Steamer Companies which, between them, were responsible for the navigation of ...
5,645 words, approx. 19 pages
A prolific writer of novels, short fiction, and nonfiction for adults as well as novels, stories, and poetry for children, Rumer Godden conveys in her works the plight and triumph of children separate...
Essays & Analysis (19)
361 words, approx. 2 pages
The following was originally published by Thackeray under the name Michael Angelo Titmarsh and appeared in Fraser's Magazine in 1847. In the excerpt below, Thackeray praises Andersen for his wi...
2,188 words, approx. 8 pages
In the following essay, Anderson argues that the endings of Andersen's fairy tales do not convey pessimism but that they instead express the "triumph of the Spirit " and the optim...
4,789 words, approx. 16 pages
In the essay following, Cech discusses the optimistic and pessimistic aspects of Andersen's fairy tales, relating them to the "competing sides of [Andersen's nature."]
8,111 words, approx. 28 pages
In the following excerpt, Ingwersen discusses the theme of the loss of freedom in Andersen's fairy tales, focusing particularly on those characters trapped by their social standing or by gender...
7,335 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Andersen (a twentieth-century critic) discusses the motif of travel in Andersen's works, finding it connected with themes of restlessness, homelessness, and alienation, ...
3,471 words, approx. 12 pages
In the following excerpt, Kofoed discusses Andersen's sources and the double nature of his narrative voice, which expresses "the tension between the manners of the highly educated, adult...
962 words, approx. 4 pages
In the following excerpt, Bennett discusses the similarities between Andersen 's personal life and the events in his well-known fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling."
3,738 words, approx. 13 pages
In the following excerpt, originally written in 1932, Hazard celebrates the vitality and wisdom found in Andersen's tales, maintaining that the stories reflect the true meaning of life.
8,426 words, approx. 29 pages
In the excerpt below, Marker discusses Andersen 's often-neglected dramatic works, focusing on Andersen's early dramatic influences and arguing that his works form part of a significant ...
4,087 words, approx. 14 pages
In the following excerpt, originally published in 1975, Mayer discusses Andersen's outsider status and sexual orientation as revealed in his novel Only a Fiddler and in his fairy tales.
15,723 words, approx. 53 pages
In the following essay, Bredsdorff discusses the sources of some of Andersen's tales and proposes a system for grouping the tales.
Today Andersen's fame rests entirely on his fairy tales...
3,750 words, approx. 13 pages
In the following excerpt, originally presented on Radio Denmark in 1979, Brask discusses the obstacles in Andersen's tales to realizing true love.
"The Swineherd" ("Svindre...
11,429 words, approx. 39 pages
In the following essay, Zipes points to ambivalence in Andersen's tales, finding its roots in the conflict between Andersen's identification with the lower classes and his simultaneous e...
4,350 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Griffith contends that Andersen depicted death as a welcome escape for the innocent from the frightening sexuality of the world.
"We can begin by saying that happy peopl...
3,663 words, approx. 13 pages
In the following essay, Greenway suggests that the acoustic theories of Hans Christian Oersted can be found in the short story “The Bell” by Andersen.
It may come as a surprise to those ...
10,327 words, approx. 35 pages
In the following essay, Sanders investigates how the art of sculpture subverts understandings of gender markings in Andersen's tale “Psychen.”
“Pip! Det er det Skønn...
8,607 words, approx. 29 pages
In the following essay, Ingwersen illustrates a common motif seen in Andersen's fairy tales, “that of being captured, of being trapped … of being denied freedom,” and how t...
5,503 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Ziolkowski traces the origins of the tale “Little Claus and Big Claus” to an anonymous medieval poem.
Albeit on a humble plane, this essay seeks to celebrate some...
4,090 words, approx. 14 pages
In the following essay, Malmkjaer contends that the normalization of Andersen's unusual punctuation in English translations significantly alters the stories.
1. Punctuation in Translation