The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen by Maria Tatar and Julie K Allen - review by Michael Arditti

Michael Arditti

The Ugly Duckling

The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen


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Contrary to the abiding image of Danny Kaye regaling a crowd of well-scrubbed peasant children with the tales of ‘Thumbelina’ and ‘The Ugly Duckling’, Hans Christian Andersen never sought the company of children. Indeed, when, towards the end of his life, the Danish public proposed to erect a statue of him in Copenhagen, he so loathed the original sketch, which featured a child resting his head on his thigh, that it was withdrawn in favour of one showing the writer alone.

Nevertheless, his collection of 168 tales, most of which – unlike those of his predecessors, Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm – are wholly original, has placed him among the most cherished children’s authors of all time. He is, together with Shakespeare and Karl Marx, one of the world’s most

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