This is the fullest biography of Andersen in any language, and is the standard work on Andersen s life and work, exploring it with authority, insight and immense readability. Hans Christian Andersen’s life story is as strange as his own tales. Born in 1805 to a poor family, he was an ‘ugly duckling’, awkward but driven by a passionate belief in his own talents. He would become a literary lion all over Europe, and an institution in his own country of Denmark, but he remained lonely and ill at ease with other people all of his life. Yet, he is still a household name and his stories are loved all over the world. This sympathetic and meticulously detailed biography records his humble beginnings through to his struggle for recognition and the success that came when he adapted the story form that was his natural expression. This biography analyses his tales, revealing new wonders in stories that are often read only in childhood. When read so originally they reveal the wit, charm and genius that Andersen lacked in his own dealings with other people. Illustrated with 24 pages of photographs and line drawings this biography does justice to a man who could only give full expression of his true nature in the tales that assured his immortality.