HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (1805-75) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker. He published his first novel and his first fairy tales in 1835; thereafter he wrote over 150 more of these stories, which have become classics in many languages. A lonely man who never married, Andersen was also an anxious man; he loved travelling, but would carry a coil of rope with him in case of fire in his hotel. Although he originally addressed his fairy tales to children (and some would maintain he had a streak of childhood in his nature) he insisted they were 'for all ages', and the gentleness and humor that are their characteristics are recognized by everyone.
One day, a diabolical troll made a mirror that showed everything beautiful as ugly and all that was good as evil. Delighted, the trolls decided to carry their mirror to heaven and mock the angels, but on the way the mirror shattered and pieces of the mirr...[SEE MORE]