Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Hans Christian Andersen: His Fairy Tale Life
by Hjordis Varmer
Age Range: 9-11
This illustrated life story of Hans Christian Andersen was published to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth in 2005.
Hans Christian Andersen was born in 1805 into a poor family in Odense, Denmark. He was an eccentric child who was often ridiculed by other children. Life was hard for the young Andersen and he was bereft when his beloved father died when he was eight years old. He had loved to hear the stories his father told him and always believed that one day he would be famous.
Andersen had several generous benefactors in his early life. He was sent to a grammar school in Slagelse where he suffered endless humiliation at the hands of the brutal headmaster Mr Meisling, including being forced to witness a horrific public execution which had a profound effect on him. He wrote poetry, plays and novels with only limited success in his native Denmark although they became very popular in Germany. It was his fairy tales like ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Nightingale’ that brought him real fame.
Hjordis Varmer has written an engaging biography. The writing is direct and vivid, divided into eleven concise chapters that are set out like individual stories. Award-winning translator Tiina Nunnally has provided a very readable translation and Lilian Brøgger’s superb haunting caricature illustrations are often child-like in style and include many of Andersen’s own paper cutouts and drawings.