Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness

Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness

by Paul Binding

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A new account of the brilliant and prolific Danish writer whose works captivated readers across Europe

Rarely does an American or European child grow up without an introduction to Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Ugly Duckling," "The Princess and the Pea," or "Thumbelina." Andersen began publishing his fairy tales in 1835, and they brought him almost immediate acclaim among Danish and German readers, followed quickly by the French, Swedes, Swiss, Norwegians, British, and Americans. Ultimately he wrote more than 150 tales. And yet, Paul Binding contends in this incisive book, Andersen cannot be confined to the category of writings for children. His work stands at the very heart of mainstream European literature.
The author considers the entire scope of Andersen’s prose, from his juvenilia to his very last story. He shows that Andersen’s numerous novels, travelogues, autobiographies, and even his fairy tales (notably addressed not to children but to adults) earned a vast audience because they distilled the satisfactions, tensions, hopes, and fears of Europeans as their continent emerged from the Napoleonic Wars. The book sheds new light on Andersen as an intellectual, his rise to international stardom, and his connections with other eminent European writers. It also pays tribute to Andersen’s enlightened values—values that ensure the continuing appeal of his works.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300206159
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 842 KB

About the Author

Paul Binding is a leading British literary critic and novelist and a renowned expert in Scandinavian literature. Among his books are studies of Ibsen, Lorca, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Eudora Welty. He lives in Shropshire, UK.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements viii

Introductory: Europe, Denmark, the World 1

Part 1 From Skyggebilleder (Shadow-Pictures) to 'Skyggeh ('The Shadow')

1 William Christian Walter 13

2 Germany 1831 and After 45

3 The Improvisatore 66

4 O.T. 87

5 Eventyr, Fortalte for Børn (Fairy-Tales Told for Children) 104

6 Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler) and 'Den Standhaftige Tinsoldat' ('The Steadfast Tin Soldier') 138

7 En Digters Bazar (A Poet's Bazaar) 173

8 The Canonical Stories 194

Part 2 From 'Det Gamle Hus' ('The Old House') to 'Tante Tandpine' (Auntie Toothache')

9 Britain, Dickens, Revolutions and Wars 259

10 What the Wind Tells: Stories 1858-59 320

11 'IIsjomfrueri ('The Ice Maiden), 1861 342

12 Beginnings and Endings. From 'Dryaden' ('The Dryad') To 'Tante Tandpine' ('Auntie Toothache') 374

Chronology 423

Notes 428

Index 472

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