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printImage of Hans Christian Andersen, self-portrait

Hans Christian Andersen, the struggle to belong

‘First you have to go through such a lot of hardship… and then you become famous.’ Mitt Livs Eventyr

As he reached the end of his studies, Andersen began to concentrate on his writing. His first major prose work, an account of a fictional journey, appeared in 1829. Initially published at his own expense, it was so well received that it sold out and was reprinted by the Copenhagen University publisher, C.A. Reitzel.

Enlarged image Image of Stage with ballerinas, papercut by Andersen Enlarged image
Image of Hans Christian Andersen, self-portrait   Hans Christian Andersen, photograph
Hans Christian Andersen, self-portrait
Copyright © Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  Hans Christian Andersen, photograph
Copyright © Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (Denmark)

During the next few years, Andersen wrote novels, poetry and drama, and began to experiment with the fairy-tale. Most of his work was autobiographical. Its reception, though generally favourable, was not without its critics – amongst them the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. Andersen was acutely sensitive to criticism and longed for the approval of the intellectual and social elite.

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Hans Christian Andersen's childhood in Odense
Hans Christian Andersen's childhood in Odense
Hans Christian Andersen, the outsider
Hans Christian Andersen, the outsider
Hans Christian Andersen, the struggle to belong
Genius of Hans Christian Andersen
Genius of Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen, the traveller
Hans Christian Andersen, the traveller
Admiration for Hans Christian Andersen
Admiration for Hans Christian Andersen
Timeline of Hans Christian Andersen's life
Timeline of Hans Christian Andersen's life
'Hans Christian Andersen' by Jackie Wullschlager (PDF format) 169kb
'Hans Christian Andersen' by Jackie Wullschlager (PDF format) 169kb
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