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The Complete Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Ander...

A similar mixture of morbidity and consolation can be found in Andersen's tales of hopeless romantic yearning. An example here is "The Rose Elf," which tells a story similar to that of Keats's poem, "Isabella, or The Pot of Basil," in which a young woman mourns her murdered lover and keeps his head in a plant-pot. Andersen wrote that his plot came "from an Italian folksong" ("Notes" 1073; the ultimate source would have been Boccaccio's Decameron). It sounds grisly enough, but, in Andersen's version, jasmine blossoms grow from the plant, which is watered by the young woman's tears until she drifts pleasantly away in her sleep to join her beloved in the afterlife. After that the rose elf and the little spirits that inhabit the blossoms help to avenge the crime and reveal the perpetrator. Here, the young mourner's happy dream, easy death and longed-for reunion beyond the grave, as well as the fairy elements, help to distract the reader from the cruelty and grief in the tale.

The Complete Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Ander...


Another aspect of Andersen's "conquest of reality" is, of course, his skill in humanizing animals and animating and giving speech to inanimate objects. Both devices were already familiar from nursery rhymes and earlier fairy tales, like those translated from Perrault's Mother Goose collection in the early eighteenth century. Small-scale ventures in this line had been tried more recently, too. Mary Howitt's own best-known and only enduring creative work was the moralistic poem mentioned in the previous section, "The Spider and the Fly," published in 1834, in which the spider invites the fly into his parlour. But, as G.K. Chesterton observed, Andersen's gift for this sort of thing was on a different scale, at once greater and more entirely natural:

The 100 greatest fairy tales by Denmark's legendary author Hans Christian Andersen: The snow queen, The wild swans, The little mermaid, The ugly duckling, The little match-seller, The emperor's new suit, The brave tin soldier, The princess and the pea, and many more! Also included: pdf file with complete track list.

In The Most Beloved Bedtime Stories for Kids: Volume 1, you're going to discover a collection of the most beautiful classic fairy tales and memorable short stories that every child must listen to. You can be sure to catch the interest of your child, stimulate the imagination of your toddler, and take the budding creativity of your youngster to new heights.

In the 19th century, the Brothers Grimm published 200 fairy tales which, to this day, form the most famous collection of fairy tales worldwide. This audiobook contains all 200 fairy tales, among them "Snow White", "Hansel and Gretel", "Rumpelstiltskin", "Rapunzel", "The Bremen town musicians", and many more. Also included: A pdf document with complete tracklist.

During his lifetime, he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide and was feted by royalty. Andersen's fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.

This superlative collection of children's stories brings together a feast of fantastic fiction, read in full by a host of top narrators and with a comprehensive track listing for ease of listening. Comprising everything from fairytales for little ones to thrilling adventures for pre-teens, these unabridged readings are ideal for families to keep, treasure and dip into as their children grow.

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness. Readily accessible by children, they present lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity that appeal to mature listeners as well. This collection of 18 tales includes "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Princess and the Pea", and "The Snow Queen".

It's commonly supposed that all fairy tales are stories from the folk tradition, passed through the generations by storytellers since the dawn of time. While it's true that most fairy tales are rooted in oral folklore, to a greater or lesser degree, many of the best-known stories actually come to us from literary sources. In a previous post, we looked at the literary fairy tales of 16th century Italy (written by Straparola and Basile) and the salon fairy tales of 17th and 18th century France (by Madame D'Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, etc.). In this one, we turn to 19th century Denmark, where Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) penned some of the best loved fairy tales of all time: The Little Mermaid, The Wild Swans, The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Nightingale, The Tinder Box, The Ugly Duckling, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Red Shoes, The Fir Tree, The Snow Queen (his masterpiece), and many others.(1)

Hans Christian Andersen's own life had aspects of a fairy tale, for he was born the son of a poor cobbler and he died a rich and famous man, celebrated around the world, the intimate of kings and queens. Although today Andersen is primarily known as a writer of stories for children, during his lifetime he was also celebrated for his other literary works, including six novels, five travel journals, three memoirs, and numerous poems and plays. The modern image of Andersen (as portrayed in the sugary 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen, starring Danny Kaye) is of a simple, innocent, child-like spinner of tales, a character from one of his own stories. Letters and diaries by Andersen and his contemporaries, however, draw the picture of a very different man: a sharply intelligent, ambitious writer with a hardscrabble past, a love of high society, and a tortured soul. Likewise, Andersen's fairy tales, when read in the original Danish (or in good, unabridged translations), are far more sophisticated and multi-layered than the simple children's fables they've become in all too many translated editions, retellings, and media adaptations. The writer was no innocent naïf recounting fancies whispered by the fairies; he was a serious artist, a skillful literary craftsman, a shrewd observer of human nature and of the social scene of 19th century Denmark.

Tall and gawky, ill at ease with other children, the boy spent his time reading, dreaming, sewing costumes out of scraps for his puppet theater, and haunting the doorway of the city's theater when traveling players came to town. Odense, at that time, was a provincial city still rooted in its rural past, with a living tradition of Danish folklore and colorful folk pageantry. In The True Story of My Life, Andersen relates how he learned Danish folk tales in his youth from old women in the spinning room of the insane asylum where his grandmother worked. "They considered me a marvelous clever child," he recalls, "too clever to live long, and they rewarded my eloquence by telling me fairy tales, and a world as rich as that of The Thousand and One Nights arose before me." The Arabian tales of The Thousand and One Nights also fired the boy's imagination, for this was one of the few precious books owned by Andersen's father.

We see this side of Andersen most clearly in his fairy tales, which he began to write at the age of 29, with great excitement. A volume containing his first four tales (The Tinder Box, The Princess and the Pea, Little Claus and Big Claus, and Little Ida's Flowers) was published in May, 1835, succeeded by a volume of three more tales the following December. Andersen's earliest stories are more clearly inspired by Danish folk tales than his later works -- yet none are direct, unadorned retellings of Danish folk stories. Rather, these are original fictions that use Danish folklore as their starting point and then head off in bold new directions, borrowing further inspiration from The Thousand and One Nights, the salon tales of seventeenth century France, the German tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, and the fantasies of E.T.A. Hoffman, among other works. 041b061a72


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