*Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Fairy tales have captivated the imagination of children for generations, leaving them spellbound with tales of heroes and villains in fanciful lands. Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, who produced more timeless tales to fill the genre than perhaps any other author, was born on April 2, 1805 in Odense. With his work adapted widely for the stage and screen, he is regarded as one of the most influential children’s writers ever.
Born to a father of the same name, much of Andersen’s childhood has vanished into the mists of history. Watching his shoemaker father and washerwoman mother, he gained an appreciation for the type of hard work required living below the poverty line — his family did not have a permanent address until two years after his birth. At the age of 7, he experienced the theatre in Odense for the first time, a crystallizing event for the young boy: a career in the performing arts would be his dream.
At the age of 14, he moved to Copenhagen to pursue a position with the Royal Danish Theatre. Determined to prove himself an able actor, he made every effort to show his worth to the company, offering to dance, sing or play any role asked. Despite interest in his soprano singing voice, Andersen never joined the cast full time due to a change in his vocal range during adolescence. …(Read more)