• Happy Birthday Hans Christian Andersen

    by  • 2 April 2016 • Authors, Children's Books, Hans Christian Andersen • 0 Comments

    2 April 2017 would have been Hans Christian Andersen’s 212th birthday! He is one of Floris Books’ most popular authors (see below for the books we publish), so in celebration, here’s everything you need to know about the great man.

    From The Princess and the Pea, illustrated by Maja Dusíková

    From The Princess and the Pea, illustrated by Maja Dusíková

    Fun facts

    • Disney’s popular film Frozen was originally based on Andersen’s short story “The Snow Queen”. However, changes made during the film’s production resulted in the two bearing little resemblance to each other.

      Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park, New York.

      Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park, New York.

    • Andersen became friends with English author Charles Dickens in 1847, whom he greatly admired, when the pair met in London. Unfortunately, the friendship did not last after Dickens invited Andersen to stay at his home for two weeks. Andersen proved to be a poor houseguest and overstayed his welcome. He lived with the family for five weeks, despite reports that Dickens politely hinted that he should leave. The friendship never recovered.

      Hans Christian Andersen statue in Odense harbour

      Hans Christian Andersen statue in Odense harbour

    • There are many statues commemorating Andersen around the world, including one in Central Park, New York, sitting on a bench with and ugly duckling, and one in Odense where he is submerged up to his shoulders in water!
    • A $13 million theme park based on Andersen’s tales opened in Shanghai in 2006.
    • Some people believe Andersen was an illegitimate son of King Christian VIII of Denmark
    • He hated school, and later claimed that teachers had discouraged him from writing
    Illustration from Elsa Beskow's version of Thumbelina.

    Illustration from Elsa Beskow’s version of Thumbelina.


    Floris Books publishes several beautiful volumes of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved tales. Click on the covers below for more information and to buy the book.

    BeskowThumbelina-3d AndersenIllustratedTreasuryofHCA-3d AndersenPrincessPea-3d

    Hans Christian Andersen’s Life and Work

    Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish poet, novelist, and playwright best known for his children’s fairy tales. He was born on 2 April 1805 in Odense, Denmark and was the only child born to a poor family. At the age of 14, Andersen travelled to Copenhagen to become an actor and was accepted to the Royal Danish Theatre because of his superb soprano voice. Jonas Collin, the theatre’s director and Andersen’s patron, would eventually encourage Andersen to pursue writing.

    From the Emperor's New Clothes, illustration by Anastasiya Archipova

    From the Emperor’s New Clothes, illustration by Anastasiya Archipova

    After achieving some success publishing novels and short stories, Andersen released  Fairy Tales in 1835. While this collection is comprised of stories beloved today such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Princess and the Pea”, and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, the book did not receive immediate recognition or success. Despite this, he followed up Fairy Tales with 1838’s Fairy Tales Told for Children. In 1845, Andersen began to enjoy critical success as a children’s author when his fairy tales were translated and “The Little Mermaid” was featured in Bentley’s Miscellany, a popular English literary magazine. In addition to his other works, he continued writing fairy tale collections throughout his life and penned over 200 tales in 38 collections.

    From The Little Mermaid, illustration by Anastasiya Archipova

    From The Little Mermaid, illustration by Anastasiya Archipova

    Hans Christian Andersen died on 4 August 1875. An internationally successful writer at the time of his death, he remains among the most celebrated children’s authors of all time and is considered a national treasure by the Danish government. His fairy tales have been translated into over 125 languages and continue to inspire books, television, theatre, and film today.





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