Hans Christian Andersen

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Hans Christian Andersen was born in 1805 in Odense, a small port city in the middle of Denmark, but lived most of his adult life in the capital city of Copenhagen.

From humble roots he grew to become the world’s most famous author of fairytales. In fact, his own life was an adventure on par with the many stories spun in his imagination. At age 14, Andersen left home for Copenhagen to try his luck at the theatre. His acting career was short lived, but the theatre company saw his potential as a playwright. It was the dawn of his life as a writer.

Andersen would go on to pen fairytales, novels, poems, plays, biographies and travel books. The fairytales became the most famous, touching on all the polarities of the human experience: the heart and the mind, emotions and irony, nature and culture. Nature, especially, is a recurring theme in all his work, something he saw as a universal foundation for personal and moral values.  Hans Christian Andersen was a traveller, too, and spent nine years of his life outside of Denmark.

Read more about Hans Christian Andersen at museum.odense.dk