The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen

A New Translation from the Danish

The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: 67 illustrations 6 1/8 x 8 1/4 trim size Published: September 2005

Literature and Literary Studies > Fiction

On the bicentennial of Hans Christian Andersen’s birth, this collection takes Andersen out of the nursery and places him squarely in the literary pantheon. While Andersen’s tales continue to seize the imagination with their singular blend of simplicity, eccentricity, and charm, English-language readers have until now had to content themselves with inaccurate retellings and inadequate translations. Diana Crone Frank, a Danish novelist and linguist, and Jeffrey Frank, a novelist and editor at the New Yorker, offer a much-needed modern translation.

In this collection are twenty-two tales that best represent Andersen’s literary legacy, including such classics as “The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelisa,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” as well as largely unfamiliar stories like “By the Outermost Sea.” Illuminating notes clarify references in the tales. And in an introductory essay, the Franks explore the writer and his times, placing the enigmatic and often bizarre figure of Andersen among his literary contemporaries, such as Charles Dickens and Søren Kierkegaard, with whom he crossed paths; and they bring to life Andersen’s fascinating relationship with the United States. Illustrated with the delicate and beautiful drawings that accompanied the original Danish publication, The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen will delight readers of all ages.


The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen is a delightful selection of Andersen’s works for readers of all ages. The Franks’ superb contemporary translation adds to our appreciation of Andersen’s magical universe, and the original illustrations by Vilhelm Pedersen and Lorenz Frølich enrich the reading experience of this modern classic.”

— Kristen Møllegaard, Marvels & Tales

“[T]he Franks have produced a lively work that can be read with pleasure and profit. . . . The text [is] readable, snappy, and appealing . . . [and] is a welcome addition to the body of Andersen translations and will hopefully find the wide audience it deserves.” — Marc Pierce, Journal of American Folklore

“Never before have Andersen’s tales been captured so well in English. . . . Essential. All libraries; all readers.” — J. G. Holland, Choice

“The Franks’ edition finally sets the stories straight, and a valuable opening essay clarifies the tale most often told wrong—Andersen’s own life story.” — Elise Soukup, Newsweek

“This beautiful and useful volume combines new translations of the canonical stories with some of the original illustrations. The introduction and annotations are clear and helpful.” — New York Times Book Review

“A superb book of Andersen’s tales, lively to read and true to the originals. . . . [It] is a perfect place to start for anyone interested in understanding the complex nature of Andersen and his writings.” — Jack Zipes Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Hans Christian Andersen, in aesthetic eminence, is comparable to Dickens and the later Tolstoy. In the cultural dumbing-down represented by the Harry Potter phenomenon, adults and children alike need the actual Andersen, here made brilliantly available by the Franks.” — Harold Bloom, editor of Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages

“The translation of Andersen’s tales by Diana Crone Frank and Jeffrey Frank is cause for real celebration. This edition is far superior to other collections.” — Maria Tatar, author of Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood

“This is the real Andersen, restored to life, in the flavor of Danish. He was a perpetual traveler and guest who left behind only this work, and here at last you will find him.” — Garrison Keillor


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Diana Crone Frank has a Ph.D. in linguistics and is a producer for ABC News. Jeffrey Frank is a senior editor at the New Yorker and the author of the novels Bad Publicity and The Columnist. They live in Manhattan.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: The Real H. C. Anderson 1

The Tinderbox, 1835 39

Little Claus and Big Claus, 1835 47

The Princess on the Pea, 1835 61

Thumbelisa, 1835 64

The Little Mermaid, 1837 78

The Emperor's New Clothes, 1837 105

The Wild Swans, 1838 111

The Swineherd, 1842 131

The Nightingale, 1844 139

The Sweethearts, 1844 152

The Ugly Duckling, 1844 156

The Snow Queen, 1845 169

The Red Shoes, 1845 207

The Little Match Girl, 1845 215

The Happy Family, 1847 220

The Shadow, 1847 225

By the Outermost Sea, 1855 240

Hopeless Hans, 1855 244

Kids' Talk, 1859 250

Father's Always Right, 1861 254

The Gardener and the Aristocrats, 1872 260

Auntie Toothache, 1872 269

Acknowledgments 285

Bibliography 287

About the Translation 295

About the Artists 295
Sales/Territorial Rights: World exc UK & British Commonwealth

Rights and licensing

Winner of the 2013 Hans Christian Andersen Award

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3693-8
Publicity material