HC Andersens’s ‘first work’

An early work by Hans Christian Andersen has been found at the bottom of a box. The Tallow Candle is a short story about a revered candle that becomes grimy and neglected until its inner beauty is recognised and ignited. Experts say it was probably written in the 1820s.

hcAndersen was born in Odense in 1805, the son of a shoemaker and a washerwomen, concentrated on poetry before his first book of fairy tales was published in 1835.

Many of Andersen’s most famous works, such as the Emperor’s New Clothes and the Little Mermaid, focus on perceptions of wealth and beauty, themes touched on in The Tallow Candle.

Before he died in 1875, Andersen wrote hundreds of fairy tales which have since been translated into more than 100 languages.

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