Day 330 of Colourisation Project – April 2
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
His birthday, 2 April, is celebrated as International Children’s Book Day.
A dyslexic author whose manuscripts were littered with errors, he went on to become one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
Born this day, 2 April 1805, in Odense, Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. His publishers didn’t mind correcting his mistakes as Andersen’s fairy tales proved to be highly successful. They have been translated into more than 150 languages and have become culturally ingrained in the collective consciousness of the Western world.
Some of his more famous tales include, The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale, The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Also a playwright and poet, Andersen wrote 36 plays; six travel books; six novels; hundreds of poems, and approximately 170 short stories. His fairy tales laid the foundations for a new genre of children’s literature and influenced other well loved children’s classics such as Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
Hans Christian Andersen died of liver cancer in Copenhagen on 4th August 1875.
Andersen is highly venerated in Denmark. Most towns in Denmark have either a school, a street or a square named after him. There are also statues of some of his most famous fairy tale characters in many towns. The iconic Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen Harbour is the most visited site in all of Denmark.
Andersen’s legacy lives on for new generations of children through his stories, which have inspired plays, ballets, and films. Even Frozen, the current movie sensation produced by Disney is loosely based on The Snow Queen. In 1952 Hollywood made Hans Christian Andersen, a movie loosely based on his life starring the inimitable Danny Kaye. The opening scene of the movie begins with,
“Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales.”
That he was.
Today, I leave you with a delightful clip from that movie and Danny Kaye ‘spinning’ one of Anderden’s popular tales, The Ugly Duckling.