Hans Christian Andersen.
It would be hard to find a child or an adult who haven’t heard of that famous Dane. Works such as ‘the Ugly Duckling’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ or ‘The Snow Queen’ have found a place in upbringing of almost every European and have travelled amazing distances in place and time. Translated into 125 languages and adapted into movies and plays, his tales reach hearts of young and olds till this day.
Here is the tale of Hans Christian Andersen himself.
Born in 1805 in Odense, Denmark, young Hans Christian experienced poverty and misery in his early years. Although poor, his parents took a great care of the education of their son and pushed him into studying literature and languages. They realized that the only chance for a better life for him was seeking help among the richest classes. Age 14, he left his hometown for Copenhagen, where he was taken care of by some high-class representatives.
During his various travels, he discovered a passion for writing, first traveling notes, then poems, tales and fairy-tales. Contrary to the common opinion, he targeted them to adults, not kids. In this way he hoped that a deeper sense of his writing would be acknowledged. Hence, he never wanted to be referred to as a writer for children. Among his biggest dreams was for the adults to read and appreciate his fairy-tales. Interestingly, one can discover a whole new meaning of his works, as very often the animals and alive objects represent human characteristics and their ways of behaving. What is more, he referred to himself in many works. The ugly duckling is said to be Andersen himself.
In contrast to that side of his work, he remained one of the greatest authors of children book and tales. Inspired by quite gloomy factors of his childhood, like poverty, loneliness and individualism, he managed to turn them into charming, educational and terrific stories.