I - Electronic Anthology of Andersen's Texts
It is sometimes hard to see past the image that Hans Christian Andersen himself, like a modern writer, made available in his three autobiographies as a framework for understanding his works. Side by side with the famous touchiness, the author possessed a sensitivity towards the world that surrounded him and a creative energy that resulted in a considerable number of works.

His works are currently being published in critical danish editions with new commentaries under the title ANDERSEN. The eighteen bulky volumes are grouped according to the many genres he made use of. Apart from fairytales and stories he wrote novels, poems, dramas and musical dramas, travel books and autobiographies, as well as mixtures of genres. In addition to this comprehensive edition of his literary works, we have the diaries and the many letters which have been preserved and many of which have also been published.

Many translations of H.C. Andersens works have seen the day over the years. A lot of these can be found on the internet. Follow for instance these very good links:

The translations in general are however of varying quality and therefore a new english translation is on the way, supported financially by the Hans Christian Andersen 2005-fond. We recommend this new publication.

Neither the variety of the works nor the developement of of the individual genres can be included in Andersen CROSSWISE. For practical reasons we have chosen to exclude his texts for the stage, in spite of Andersen's lifelong ambition to become a successful dramatist. The other genres are represented but only by a few texts. Fairytales and stories are most amply represented but the lack of space in the Andersen anthology which is to be published as a newspaper makes it necessary to exclude a number of long texts that might be relevant for the chosen themes.

In the anthology we aspire to bring complete texts but obviously only chapters or passages from novels and travel books have been included. Despite the limitations we have sought to make sure that anyone working with a theme or a prize essay will become familiar with texts that are not among the writer's most well-known. This means that som of the most popular fairytales have been excluded from the anthology, as most people will have easy access to them elsewhere. On these terms, Andersen CROSSWISE includes the texts listed below. The texts will not be available here in english translation, we list them mostly to give an impression of the broadness of our project - and of Andersens works.

Fairytales and Stories:
"The Buckwheat"
"Little Ida's Flowers"
"What One Can Invent"
"Clumsy Hans"
"Thousand Years from Now"
"The Shadow"
"Little Stories": "You're the One the Fable is Aimed At!" and "The Talisman"
"The Snail and the Rosebush"
"The Butterfly"


"The Dying Child"


from: Only a Fiddler
"Liszt", from: A Poet's Bazaar
"Three Roman Boys", from: A Poet's Bazaar
from: Lucky Peer
from: O.T.

Travel Books:
"The California of Poetry", from: Pictures of Sweden
"Faith and Science", from: Pictures of Sweden
"Trolhättan", from: Pictures of Sweden
"Raphael's Funeral", from: Travel Sketches 1826-1872. A Picture Book without Pictures. Visit to Portugal 1866

from: H.C. Andersens Levnedsbog

For Theodor Collin, August 23, 1839

"Monday, January 6, 1834", from: The Diaries of Hans Christian Andersen I. 1825-1834
"Wednesday, January 13, 1841", from: The Diaries of Hans Christian Andersen II. 1836-1844
"Sunday, January 3, 1841", from: The Diaries of Hans Christian Andersen II. 1836-1844

"Meditations in a Starry Night"
"On How Important it is in One's Youth to have Learned Something Useful (Illuminated by a Story)"
"Rules for the Use of Parables"
"Why do some People so Willingly Exaggerate Everything when They Tell Something? And What Harm is there in that Habit?"
"How Should We Conduct Ourselves when it Comes to the Joys and Pleasures of Others?"

II - Electronic Anthology of Texts about Andersen

Recommended Surveys
Surveys of Hans Christian Andersen's life and works can be found in encyclopaedias as well as in biographical and literary dictionaries. In Danish we recommend:

  • Johan de Mylius' article in The National Danish Encyclopaedia, Vol. 1. Copenhagen: 1994
  • H. Topsøe-Jensen's article in Danish Biographical Lexikon, 3. ed. Vol. 1. Copenhagen: Gyldendal 1979
  • Uffe Andreasen's article in Gyldendal's Literary Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. Copenhagen: Gyldendal 1974.

The two latter articles include references to other literature. If you are looking for more detailed information or for textual analyses and interpretations, you will find secondary literature that is not only extensive in size but which also illuminates various themes of the work from many different angles. We recommend the most extensive one, Aage Jørgensen: Bibliografi of Danish History of Literature 1-13. Århus: CUK/Center of Education and cultural Mediation 1988-2000. The bibliography is also available electronically.

The electronic anthology of Andersen CROSSWISE presents two descriptions of the whole canon:

  • One of an earlier date, in book form, written by Erling Nielsen and translated into a number of languages (1963).
  • A completely new one by Johan de Mylius in the shape of a portrait of the author for Archives of Danish Literature. This site also provides access to texts by Andersen.

Special Articles

Andersen CROSSWISE also presents a series of special articles that are particularly relevant for the themes. There is much valuable knowledge, old and new, about Andersen hidden in the Andersen studies. For obvious reasons we can only present a small selection of the secondary literature that is relevant. However, the chosen texts provide good opportunities for inspiration and support when working with the themes or a prize essay.

Some of the texts are "master interpretations", that is early and important examples of studies in Andersen. This applies to Georg Brandes, Paul V. Rubov, Harald Rue and Villy Sørensen whose early analyses of the writer of fairytales preceded the modern textual analyses of e.g. Søren Baggesen and Jørgen Dines Johansen. Other examples are concerned with understanding the author's development and his philosophy of life. This is true of Joakim Garff's image of Andersen the novelist seen through Kierkegaard's optics, as well as Søren Baggesen's and Christian Svanholm's illustration of his religiousness, and finally Ane Grum-Schwensen's comparison with the physician Hans Christian Ørsted.

Other contributions focus on particular aspects of the relationship between life and works, e.g. Elias Bredsdorff's and Inge Lise Rasmussen Pin's analyses of Andersen as a traveller, as well as Jørgen Bonde Jensen's and Hans Edvard Nørregaard-Nielsen's analysis of the relationship between poetry and the visual arts. Poul Houe and Finn Hauberg Mortenen have contributed to a final subgroup of texts that is concerned with the reception of Andersen's works.

The Texts
Most of the texts are in Danish but there are also a few in other languages. The secondary texts are provided with leads which explain the reasons for including a particular text in this context. Texts in english can be found on this site. Others than the ones we have chosen might be available in translation. As for the remaining texts - go to the Danish site to read about them in Danish.

The antology includes the following:

Baggesen, Søren: "Dobbeltartikulationen i H.C. Andersens eventyr" ("The Double Articulation of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairytales").
Baggesen, Søren: "Individuation efter frelse" ("Individuation After Salvation").
Brandes, Georg: "H. C. Andersen som Eventyrdigter" ("Hans Christian Andersen as Writer of Fairytales").
Bredsdorff, Elias: "Den rejsende 1840-43".
Bredsdorff, Elias: "The traveller 1840-3" .
Brostrøm, Torben: "Folkeeventyret som tekst". ("The Folk Tale as Text").
Depenbrock, Heike & Heinrich Detering: "Poesie und industrielles Zeitalter in H.C. Andersens 'I Sverrig'" ("Poetry and Industrial Age in Hans Christian Andersen's Pictures of Sweden").
Garff, Joakim: "Af en endnu Levendes Papirer" ("From the Papers of One Still Living").
Grum-Schwensen, Ane: "H.C. Ørsted og digtekunsten eller Luftskibet - 'Det sande, det Gode og det Skjønne'" ("Hans Christian Ørsted and the Art of Poetry or The Airship - 'The True, The Good and the Beautiful'").
Houe, Poul: "Andersen realisert - Andersen til realisation" ("Andersen Realized - Andersen for Realization").
Jensen, Jørgen Bonde:"Genrebilledet", "Genrebilledets tid. Biedermeier" og "Den ny stil: gevinst og omkostning. Dødningen og rejsekammeraten" ("The Genre Picture", "The Age of the Genre Picture. Biedermeier" and "The New Style: Profit and Loss. The Ghost and the Travelling Companion").
Johansen, Jørgen Dines: "Begæringens nådesløse tragedie. Om H.C. Andersens 'Den lille Havfrue'" ("The Merciless Tragedy of the Demand. On Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Little Mermaid'").
Johansen, Jørgen Dines: "The Merciless Tragedy of Desire. An Interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Little Mermaid'".
Mortensen, Finn Hauberg: "Den lille Havfrue" ("The Little Mermaid").
Mylius, Johan de: "Hans Christian Andersen".
Mylius, Johan de: "Hans Christian Andersen" (english).
Nielsen, Erling: H.C. Andersen.
Nørregaard-Nielsen, Hans Edvard: "Vendepunktet" ("The Turning Point").
Pin, Inge Lise Rasmussen: "H.C. Andersens 'Metalsvinet': Fra dagbog til poetisk billede". ("Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Metal Pig': From Diary to Poetic Image").
Rubow, Poul V.: "Le  Merveilleux" og "Gud - Forsyn - Lykke" ("God - Providence - Happiness").
Rue, Harald: "H.C. Andersen".
Svanholm, Chr.: "Fra religions- og danskundervisningen" ("From Teaching Religion and Danish").
Sørensen, Villy: "De djævelske traumer. Om H. C. Andersens romaner" ("The Devilish Trauma. About the Novels of Hans Christian Andersen").