Andersen was a well-known Danish literary figure before he achieved wide fame for his fairy tales. The Improvisatore, an autobiographical novel, first appeared in Danish in 1835 and was his first real success after several years of publishing poems, musical dramas, and travel sketches. The first edition of his fairy tales appeared that same year, solidifying his reputation as Denmark’s leading man of letters.
This volume is the earliest collection of Andersen’s fairy tales in USC’s collections. It was published soon after the first English translations of his work began to appear in 1846 and includes four illustrations by the German artist Otto Specktor, who illustrated many of the original Danish editions.
This is a facsimile edition of a scrapbook created by Danish court magistrate Adolph Drewsen in 1859 for his granddaughter Christine, with assistance from his friend Hans Christian Andersen. The book contains clippings from newspapers and magazines from several countries arranged into pictures and collages. Drewsen and Andersen wrote verse captions for many pages, and the book contains several examples of Andersen’s papercuts, a striking example of which is shown here.