Hans Christian Andersen (Danish pronunciation: [ˈhanˀs ˈkʁæsdjan ˈɑnɐsn̩], referred to using the initials H. C. Andersen (Danish pronunciation: [ˈhɔːˀ ˈseːˀ ˈɑnɐsn̩]) in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Snow Queen", "The Little Mermaid", "Thumbelina", "The Little Match Girl", and "The Ugly Duckling".
During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.
Hans Christian Andersen was born in the town of Odense, Denmark, on Tuesday, April 2, 1805. He was an only child. "Hans" and "Christian" are traditional Danish names.
Andersen's father considered himself related to nobility. According to scholars at the Hans Christian Andersen Center, his paternal grandmother had told his father that their family had in the past belonged to a higher social class, but investigations prove these stories unfounded. The family apparently was...