HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN’S FIRST FAIRY TALE FOUND
A Danish researcher has stumbled across the first fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark’s national archives.
Entitled “The Tallow Candle”, the tale tells the story of a candle that has difficulty finding its place in the world until a tinder box discovers its worth and lights its wick.
National Archive director Mads Peter Christensen told the Politiken newspaper that staff had been contacted by the researcher who disclosed the discovery.
Lacking the polished standards of Andersen’s later fairy tales, it is believed to have been written when he was a schoolboy.
“This is a sensational discovery,” Ejnar Stig Askgaard of the Odense City Museum and one of Denmark’s leading Hans Christian Andersen experts told Politiken.
“Partly because it must be seen as Andersen’s first fairy tale, and partly because it shows that he was interested in the fairy tale as a young man, before his authorship began,” he said.