H.C. Andersen

“… a madman, a lover or a bard”

A man of many faces

As today, in Hans Christian Andersen’s day, opinions were also divided about the tall, gangly person from the provinces. He might not have fitted in exactly, but he also insisted on sticking out. Hans Christian Andersen was and is something special, full of contradictions, nuances and facets.
Throughout his life, the poet devoted his enormous talent to a crucial task; to understand oneself and what it means to be human. His life and art make the world a richer, deeper and more wonderful place.  

A larger-than-life and complex personality

Multiartist

Hans Christian Andersen was not just a writer. He was also a paper cutter, an illustrator, a singer and a flower arranger. He was multi-talented with a special eye for the potential offered by materials. Almost everything he touched turned to art.

Fame

Without comparison, Hans Christian Andersen is the most famous Dane in the world, and even in his own day, he achieved tremendous fame. As today, opinions about him were divided back then – especially in Denmark.

Nomad

Restlessness drove Andersen towards new horizons. An impatient man, he always longed to be elsewhere, explaining how he became one of the most widely travelled people of the 19th century. The world and his trunk were his home.

Inventor

Hans Christian Andersen was an innovator and an inventor. Words, paper clips, photography – everything was potential material for his innovative play. Literature was revolutionized, and proverbs and expressions we take for granted today were invented by him.

Hans Christian Andersen liked to have fixed dinner arrangements six evenings a week with different families in Copenhagen. He kept the seventh open, however – well one could be invited out.

Did you know that?

“Don’t trust pot plants. They have spent too much time with people.”

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales are a break with the moralising children’s literature of the day.

Did you know that?

Hans Christian Andersen called his fairy tales “my children”.

Did you know that?

“Do not give sorrow a single moment or it will remain with you all your life.”

Hans Christian Andersen

Discover H.C. Andersen´s Odense – In phenomenal footsteps

Continue the story at #hcao

Visit a village from Hans Christian Andersen’s day

Visit a village from Hans Christian Andersen’s day

Text is available under Creative Commons. Attribution / Non Commercial / Part On Same Terms 3.0. See Terms of Use for more information