The Life of Hans Christian Anderson

© 2010, Dolena Matthews, Max Monis, Nicole Proctor, Holly Speers

Hans Christian Andersen, born on April 2, 1805 in Odense Denmark, is arguably one of the most prominent individuals in folktale history. Determined to become an artist from a young age, Andersen's experiences began to affect him and eventually paved the way toward his literary future. Andersen re-envisioned stories and produced his own works from tales that he heard narrated and retold in his own writing style. Despite their lower-class position, Andersen's family affiliated themselves with nobility through trade and employment. He worked at apprenticeships during his early years and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark at age fourteen. Shortly after, Andersen was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre School where his focus on writing began. Andersen had to adjust to bourgeois life and the competitive realm of the theatre. Chancellor Jonas Collin, a director of the Royal Theatre, noticed Andersen's talent at seventeen. Collin was able to obtain money from the King for his education. In 1828, Andersen was accepted to the University of Copenhagen, at which his first writings were published in the following years. He receiving grant money from the King for his travels to Europe. By the end of his life in 1875, Andersen had compiled a total of 156 literary tales that made him an internationally renowned folktale genius and thus determined him as one of the most dominant individuals to modern literature today.