H. C. Andersen was born in Odense on 2 April 1805, the son of the shoemaker Hans Andersen and the washer woman Anne Marie Andersdatter. As a child, his favorite employment was daydreaming, and as a 14-year-old he decided to seek his fortune at The Royal Theater in Copenhagen, to which he was loosely affiliated until 1822.
That same year, under pseudonym, he published his first book - Youthful Attempts - and submitted a tragedy from the book to the Royal Theater. The play was rejected, but the theater board agreed to help the young writer get an education, which he completed in 1829 as a cand. phil., after which he devoted himself to his writings.
At the beginning of his authorship (1828-1835), he tries out many genres and has a rich imagination, happiness and vigilance. The great breakthrough in 1835 is the novel Improvisator as well as his first fairy tales: Fairy Tales Told to Children. At the same time, he breaks through abroad with his novels and is celebrated in both England and Germany.
Already in his lifetime, his fairy tales and stories were translated into several languages, which secured him an increasing popular fame. His private life stood in stark contrast to his writings; He had no luck in love and lived in loneliness plagued by worries, though with a great circle of friends among his equals.
He died in 1875, and the funeral raised great international attention.
H. C. Andersen is with his lush imagination and for his time radical and modern view of art one of the most interesting personalities in Danish cultural history, and not only contributed with literary works but also with drawings, paper cuttings and picture books.