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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers

Listings for Author:  

Hans Christian Andersen


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Hans Christian Andersen : Tales

[Permitted Sunday reading for the children of the family].

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Mary Vivian (Molly) Hughes      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Fairy legends and Tales

Letter H53, January 1857 "But I think if you read Anderson carefully, you will feel how pointed, neat and concise he is in comparison. How unexpected also are most of his turns. The conceit of the different personages is nearly all that is amusing here" (referring to one of Miss Heaton's tales)"and you will find Anderson has worked that point thoroughly in the 'darning needle' and the hen and the can in the ugly duck &c."

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: John Ruskin      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Fairy Tales

'One of the daughters of Florence Barclay, a writer of popular fiction ... recounts how her mother used, in the 1880s, to read aloud to them a great deal: Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales, children's books like "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and "The Little Duke" [as well as Scott] ...'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Florence Barclay      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Fairy Tales

[Maud Montgomery and her foster brothers] 'read the "Wide Awake" magazines the boys' aunt sent them for a while - the last instalment of a serial Maud was reading was due when the magazines stopped coming. The boys thought this was a huge joke...(thirty years later she came across bound copies of "Wide Awake" and was finally able to finish reading that story). They told ghost stories. In school Well won the teacher's prize for being the best in arithmetic that winter, a copy of Hans Andersen's fairytales. Maud was enchanted by the book. Then she won a collection of fairytales for being top student most often and it had a story in it called "The Honey Stew of the Countess" Bertha which "abounded in ghosts" and she liked it even better'.

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Lucy Maud Montgomery      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Fairy Tales

'Whenever she felt morose or lonely she looked into books, and, having an insatiable curiosity, by the time she was three she had taught herself to read. Hans Christian Andersen's "Fairy Tales" became an early favorite. Some of the tales that she read again and again, it must have seemed, mirrored her own life. Aware that she had not inherited her mther's beauty, she was intrigued in particular by "The Ugly Duckling".'

Century: 1850-1899     Reader/Listener/Group: Edith Sitwell      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : The Improvisatore: or, Life in Italy

Elizabeth Barrett to Mary Russell Mitford, 19 March 1845: 'Mind you read Andersen's "Improvisatore." I have just finished it, -- & am charmed, -- though of story, there is none, & of character, not much more. But the sense of inner life throughout it, & the exquisite visions & breathings into Italy, quite take away one's breath for pleasure. And then, there is a memoir of the author which interests one in him, for a beginning. He is a real poet, .. this Andersen, -- & worthy of being a countryman of Hamlet ... the Dane par excellence.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Elizabeth Barrett      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : The Improvisatore: or, Life in Italy (extracts)

Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett, letter postmarked 30 April 1845: 'That book you like so, the Danish novel, must be full of truth & beauty, to judge from the few extracts I have seen in Reviews. That a Dane should write so, confirms me in an old belief -- that Italy is stuff for the use of the North, and no more: pure Poetry there is none, nearly as possible none, in Dante even [...] strange that those great wide black eyes should stare nothing out of the earth that lies before them!'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Robert Browning      Print: Serial / periodical


Hans Christian Andersen : unknown

'My mother started to read to me when I was very young indeed. She read aloud beautifully and never got tired, and she would never, from the first, read anything that she could not enjoy herself, which cut out all the poor quality writing which every right-minded child loves when he can get it. Her only concession was one weekly comic, "Rainbow". But apart from that, I was reared on a fine mixed diet of Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Dickens, Stevenson, Hans Andersen, Kenneth Grahame and Kipling – especially Puck of Pook’s Hill whose three magnificent stories of Roman Britain were the beginning of my own passion for the subject, and resulted in the fullness of time in The Eagle of the Ninth. Hero myths of Greece and Rome I had, in an unexpurgated edition which my mother edited herself as she went along, and Norse and Saxon and Celtic legends. There were Whyte Melville’s The Gladiators and Bulwer Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii and Weigal’s Egyptian Princess; for my mother loved historical novels – history of any kind, though her view of it was always the minstrel’s rather than the historian’s.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Rosemary Sutcliff      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Little Match Girl, The

'She did take to reading me The Little Matchgirl rather more frequently as time went on. Maybe she hoped that I would learn to read as a means of avoiding that particular story, but I have a nasty suspicion that it was done as a means of providing light relief for herself, because The Little Match Girl always made me cry.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Rosemary Sutcliff      Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Fairytales

'[report by Mrs Ward of the library at her Passmore Edwards Settlement] boys were sitting hunched up over "Masterman Ready", or the ever-adored "Robinson Crusoe"; girls were deep in "Anderson's [sic] Fairy Tales" or "The Cuckoo Clock", the little ones were reading Mr Stead's "Books for the Bairns" or looking at pictures'.

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: girls at the Passmore Edwards Settlement     Print: Book


Hans Christian Andersen : Tales (unspecified collection)

'Mr Joseph Conrad, the author, writes: I don’t remember any child’s book. I don’t think I ever read any; the first book I remember distinctly is Hugo’s "Travailleurs de la Mer" which I read at the age of seven. But within the last two years I’ve participated in my son’s (age 5) course of reading, and I share his tastes – in prose, Grimm and Andersen; in verse, Lear.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Joseph Conrad      Print: Book


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