Hans Christian Andersen was born in 1805 in the city of Odense. He began to compose fairy tales at an early age. At the same time, he did not shine with special literacy, even as a famous writer, he made a huge number of mistakes in manuscripts. He had to spend a lot of money on scribes who made the text readable.
As a child, no one believed that Hans Christian would become a famous storyteller. His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a laundress. Moreover, there was talk that the boy had a bad heredity. His grandfather, a woodcarver, was considered mentally ill, as he loved to carve some mythical characters: half-humans - half-animals.
At the age of fourteen, the boy left home and went to Copenhagen, explaining his act simply: "I want to become famous!" True, fame did not come to him soon, for a start he barely managed to enter the Royal Theater, where Andersen played secondary roles. It was only at the age of 24 that he published his first work, Walking Journey from Holmen Canal to the Eastern End of Amager.
Even after becoming famous, Hans Christian Andersen suffered from a huge number of phobias and complexes. For example, he never dared to pull out a tooth, even if the pain was unbearable: the storyteller was sure that his writing inspiration was directly related to the number of teeth - having removed at least one of them, he could lose his creativity. But, the years took their toll, the teeth began to fall out without any intervention of doctors. Andersen lamented, fearing that he would no longer be able to write anything serious.
In addition, Andersen always carried a long strong rope with him, as he was afraid of fires. With this rope he hoped to get out of the burning house through the window.
The great storyteller, whose works were known all over the world, could not arrange his personal life. He was never married and had no children. The women he loved were indifferent to him. And those who showed interest in Andersen, for whatever reason, did not suit him.
Hans Christian Andersen was a great connoisseur of Pushkin's poetry. And I always dreamed of an autograph of the great Russian poet. His dream came true, friends were able to get in Russia a page from the notebook of Pushkin's poems and give it to Andersen. It is now kept in the Royal Library of Copenhagen.
It turned out that even in the twenty-first century, not all Andersen's tales are known to the reader. In 2012, one of the Danish historians accidentally discovered in the archives of the city of Odense a manuscript of the tale "The tallow candle". Experts have established that the author of the tale is Hans Christian Andersen. Presumably, it was written in adolescence, but, unlike later works, it contains many moral teachings.
In the port of Copenhagen in 1913, a statue was erected depicting the Little Mermaid - the heroine of Andersen's famous fairy tale. Soon it became one of the main attractions of the capital of Denmark, having suffered many times from vandals. Over the past century, her head and hands have been cut down more than once, doused with paint. Interestingly, the heirs of the sculptor Edward Eriksen are demanding payment for the use of the images of the Little Mermaid, assuring that the copyright has not yet expired.