Hans Christian Andersen
Biographical notes by Blake Wilfong

"Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat [of my funeral music] keep time with short steps."

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author whose fairy tales (or fantasy stories, if you prefer) have become an integral part of our culture. Virtually everyone is familiar with "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Princess and the Pea", "Thumbelina", or "The Ugly Duckling".

The son of a poor shoemaker, Andersen was catapulted into fame and fortune by his children's stories during the 1840s. He traveled Europe, rubbing shoulders with royalty, and luminaries like Franz Liszt, Victor Hugo, and Charles Dickens. His renown continues today--and yet few of us remember his poems, plays, novels, travel books, and memoirs.

Or his science fiction.

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