HCA NEWS Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales in pictures

The Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation has sponsored the production of a book devoted to the illustrations that have accompanied the many works by the Danish fairytale writer. The book with its 300 beautifully reproduced illustrations is a veritable pictorial catalogue of Andersen's numerous fairytales, and as such a work of considerable cultural and historical interest.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 02 December 2004

H.C. Andersens eventyr i billeder - en illustrationshistorie (Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales in pictures - an illustrated history) will be published on December 7 by the University Press of the University of Southern Denmark.

The book examines what the illustrations are able to tell us, and the reader is introduced to artists such as Lorenz Frølich, Fritz Syberg, and Herluf Jensenius. The book includes a chapter about Hans Christian Andersen's own view on illustrations, and there are interviews with two prominent Andersen interpreters, Ib Spang Olsen and Lilian Brøgger, both representing their own generation of illustrators.

H.C. Andersens eventyr i billeder - en illustrationshistorie provides an interpretation of Andersen's fairytales based on three common Andersen themes: tales of "small creatures", the theme of "fun and games", and tales of "the profound". Thus, the reader encounters classics such as The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, Little Claus and Big Claus, The Swineherd, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Little Mermaid, and The Nightingale in a multitude of pictorial variation dating from the 1830s and up until today.

Over and above this, the book studies the mode of expression of the individual illustrator and the interplay between picture and text. It examines motifs, composition, symbolism, and the role played by historical and geographical factors.

The author is Thorkild Borup Jensen (b.1937), a Master of Arts in Danish and German, who lectured at the Royal Danish School of Educational Studies (now the Danish University of Education)  from 1967 - 1997. He is the author of numerous works in the field of Literary Education, the history of literary genres, the relationship between Art and The Media, and the history of Danish identity. He has also carried out studies of Hans Christian Andersen and written articles about the fairytale author, both in the Literary Yearbook, Anderseniana, and in the anthology entitled Digtning der duer. 

For further information, please contact the University Press of the University of Southern Denmark at tel. +45 66 15 79 99 (Monday-Friday, 8 am - 3:30 pm) or email: , www.universitypress.dk. The author can be reached direct at tel. +45 35 38 06 27.

H.C. Andersens eventyr i billeder - en illustrationshistorie, 282 pages, richly illustrated, price DKK 349. Available at all Danish bookshops.