The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen

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Overview

A richly entertaining and informative collection of Hans Christian Andersen's stories, annotated by one of America's leading folklore scholars.
In her most ambitious annotated work to date, Maria Tatar celebrates the stories told by Denmark's "perfect wizard" and re-envisions Hans Christian Andersen as a writer who casts his spell on both children and adults. Andersen's most beloved tales, such as "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Little Mermaid," are now joined by "The Shadow" and "Story of a Mother," mature stories that reveal his literary range and depth. Tatar captures the tales' unrivaled dramatic and visual power, showing exactly how Andersen became one of the world's ten most translated authors, along with Shakespeare, Dickens, and Marx. Lushly illustrated with more than one hundred fifty rare images, many in full color, by artists such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen will captivate readers with annotations that explore the rich social and cultural dimensions of the nineteenth century and construct a compelling portrait of a writer whose stories still fascinate us today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Andersen, creator of "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Ugly Duckling," receives treasury treatment in this latest entry in Norton's series of annotated classics, replete with margin notes attentive to historical contexts, critical interpretations and folkloric influences. Tatar, Harvard's dean for humanities (The Annotated Brothers Grimm), relates that when she taught Andersen's tales, undergraduates often reported "their magical childhood experiences with the fairy tales" and protested her analyses of Andersen's frequently brutal scenarios. Tatar avers that her research did help her re-evaluate the affective qualities of Andersen's work. While it remains important to acknowledge the sadism of renowned tales like "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Match Girl," and to investigate Andersen's bitter efforts to join fashionable Danish society (noted in a biographical appendix), this collection of 12 "Tales for Children" and a dozen more "Tales for Adults" focuses on the stories' fairy tale references and aesthetic appeal. Gorgeous turn-of-the-century illustrations by Kay Nielsen, William Heath Robinson and others and a section with comments from Dickens, van Gogh and Ursula Le Guin, among others testify to Andersen's wide influence. Translating with Julie K. Allen, Tatar conveys the indisputable magnetism and uncanny, threatening beauty of Andersen's visions. 146 color and b&w illus. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Andersen celebrated joy and goodness with images of light, warmth, fluidity, beauty, and transcendence. He also plumbed the depths of despair and alienation with images of darkness, cold, immobility, ugliness, and sadistic punishment. Children exposed to his stories long remember their disturbing, evocative power. Tatar has selected 24 stories that show both sides of the 19th-century Danish storyteller and satirist. She divides her collection equally between "Tales for Adults" and "Tales for Children," including Andersen's best-known works as well as those that may be less familiar. Tatar and Allen provide fresh translations of Andersen's tales intended to encourage reading aloud, but their fluid, conversational tone occasionally lapses into current slang. While Erik Christian Haugaard's Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories (Doubleday, 1974) sets the standard for translation, this splendid new volume offers readers an abundance of background and context. Annotated with copious and informative notes, illustrated with reproductions from early illustrators-among them Harry Clarke, Kay Nielsen, and Edmund Dulac-the book features a critical introduction, a sketch of Andersen's life, thumbnail biographies of Andersen's illustrators, excerpts from 30-odd accounts of reading Andersen by people as diverse as Charles Dickens and Claire Bloom, and an extensive bibliography. Generously sized, with handsome page design, the book invites adults to read and discuss Andersen's tales with children. Scholars and college students will also find it valuable.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams

Copyright 2008 Reed BusinessInformation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393060812
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/12/2007
  • Series: The Annotated Bks.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 294,619
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), famous Danish author and poet, is beloved by children and adults the world around for his famous children's stories such as "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," The Ugly Duckling," "The Emperor's New Clothes," and "The Princess and the Pea," among many others.

Maria Tatar chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Maria Tatar chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Maria Tatar chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Maria Tatar chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Julie K. Allen is assistant professor in the Department of Scandanavian Studies at University of Wisconsin. She is co-translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, with Maria Tatar.

Biography

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, Denmark, to a poor family. He left home as a 14-year-old to seek his fortune at the theatre in Copenhagen. Andersen began writing plays and poetry before he left for Copenhagen, but it was not until 1835 that he published the first of the fairytales that would bring him international renown. Since then, his over 200 fairytales have enjoyed undiminished popularity, providing the basis for favorite American interpretations such as Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Biography courtesy of HarperCollins

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 2, 1805
    2. Place of Birth:
      Odense, Denmark
    1. Date of Death:
      August 4, 1875
    2. Place of Death:
      Copenhagen, Denmark

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    I love this book and all the beautiful illustrations in it. And it's nice to have more than just the standard tales. I like the fact that the stories are presented with commentary about Andersen and his time but also with insights about how to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2010

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