Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Hans Christian Andersen was born on April 2, 1805 in Odense, Denmark to a cobbler and a washerwoman. Although they were poor, his parents doted on him and encouraged him to develop his imagination by putting on puppet shows and making up his own stories. His mother introduced him to the world of folklore before she slid into full-blown alcoholism.
When Andersen was 14, he set off for Copenhagen to become an actor, singer or dancer. He had little success, but made valuable connections during his time as a struggling performer. The Royal Theater’s Jonas Collin provided Andersen with a grant to attend Copenhagen University, and during this time he began writing poems, plays and stories. In 1827, his first poem, “The Dying Child,” was published in the Copenhagen Post.
More: This Day in History: April 2nd