Publicado por: mirnacavalcanti | 3 de abril de 2012

Hans Christian Andersen was born 207 years ago


Do these beings exist or not? Or do they only inhabit in the ones who are pures  at heart? Let’s now give up Logics, read Andersen’s work. Let’s  allow  dreams and hopes take part in our life. Let’s feel and dream about a better ‘enchanted ‘ world.


This article was first published on 02/04/2010 (*). I reviewed it  to celebrate Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. He  was born in Odense on April 2, 1805, and died in Copenhagen in August 4, 1875




He would be now  207 years old if  alive.  Nevertheless, even  dead, he’ll  always  be among us through  his work as a writer. Almost all of us read the stories listed in this article.

His fairy tales, and other short stories have been repeatedly translated into almost all existing languages.  They are expressions of  his  unmatched  tender literary creativity… Written dreams matched with a wanted (and ‘needed’?) reality tender touch people of all ages. The ones with ‘pure’ souls, may certainly feel the existence of these diaphanous, almost incredible beings: Elementals, Spirits of the Nature, fairies, sylphs, gnomes … all that imaginary tangible / intangible... can be seen and felt by the ones with creative imagination’s  intelligences. (**)  

He also devoted his work to  stories of princes and princesses, of true love that overcomes all problems, and specially on the respect due to the elders, the love overcomes hate, good to overcome Evil… Light, overcomes Darkness, and always the presence of hope for better days if we strive for pursuing them.

Curiosities that many are unaware:

When Andersen told his  stories, he often enjoyed – at the same time to draw them while telling them… or, with a scisor to make paper figures or even kinds of  origami cuts.

This, in harmony with his perfect diction and intonation, made him an almost unrivaled storyteller.                                                                                                              


There is even a museum in Copenhagen with several pictures and clippings made by Andersen himself.                                                                                                      Let us remember that there was not television or radio then. So,  it wasn’t possible to record at the time his deeds; They were first  passed from generation to generation. Specially in cold and rainy days and evenings, after dinner, it was common for families to gather by the fireplace… The children,  with their  bright eyes  wide opened , sat quietly and carefully around their parents, grandparents, uncles … and listened to  the stories that lately in the night were part of their dreams. That stories ‘accompanied’ them during all their lives.

They grew up, had  their own children, and the habit was therefore being consolidated  generation after generation, till our days …

Thanks to this – then healthy way of  living- which maintained the family united, Andersen’s creation,  has has been recreated day after day and survived through times.

 Therefore, it must be stated: neither was Gutenberg’s invention of printing with movable type (around 1439). Let’s also remember that this process of mobile type mass production, using oil based ink, had high cost and was used only to print important issues

Andersen’s writing is indeed the greatest  contribution to children’s literature. For this reason, April 2th  was chosen as the “International Children  and Youth’s Book Day”.  Additionally,  the most important award of this genre of literature, has his name.


Let us remember how much we appreciated all Andersen’s stories… and also how much we indeed   appreciate to tell them to kids and how much the love to listen to them,…

Mirna Cavalcanti de Albuquerque                                                                                                                                                                                              Rio de Janeiro, April 3rd , 2012


(**) “Blessed are Angels of the Four Elements of earth, water, air and fire. O ye faithful servants of God, ye blessed! You also, ye blessed children of nature, Nature’s spirits, who live inhabit  the caves, forests, mountains, seas, lakes, rivers, winds, clouds, the sun. “

II – Hans Christian Andersen was born 207 years ago, on April 2nd

Anderson is well known by his stories. Nevertheless he was also a poet. 

He was born from humble family; his father  was a shoemaker. Andersen struggled to get a good  education – and achieved his goal. His poetry , essays and of course, the Dying Child’s  tale guaranteed him a place at the Institute of Copenhagen.


Besides tales and stories, Andersen wrote plays, poems and patriotic songs, too. Probably because of the children he is  specially worldwide known  by his fairy tales.


These following  are the most known (among many others) Andersen’ tales: The Spruce, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Box of Surprises, The Red Booties, Little and Great Claudius, The Soldier of Lead, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Princess and the Pea.

He had also published: The improviser (1835), Nothing like a minstrel (1837), Book of images without images (1840), The romance of my life (autobiography in two volumes, originally published in Germany, in 1847),


Nevertheless, we may considered fairy tales his greatest work (‘Eventyrog Historier ‘or Stories and Adventures), which he published from 1835 to 1872), where the Nordic humor is combined  with a smiling bonhomie, and which uses both : folk tales and irony specially addressed  to his contemporaneous .




  1. Muito bom ,sem dúvida. Um dos melhores ,arriscamos a dizer. Gostamos muito tbém dos brasileiros,uns são da mesma genialidade de Andersen.
    Bia e Vinni

    • Olá, amigos!

      Concordo quando escreveram termos autores geniais. Monteiro Lobato brilha em nossa constelação junto com outros mais. Escrevi sobre Andersen, pois há fatos que até eu mesma desconhecia antes de pesquisar para fazê-lo. Há que considerar-se também o fato de que há quase dois séculos a obra de Andersen lhe dá a supremacia como escritor principalmente de contos infantis.

      Abraço grande,

      Muita luz e paz!

      Mirna C

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