Hans Christian Andersen Alison Prince presents fascinating new evidence which casts an entirely unexpected light on this famous writer of children's fairy tales. Using diaries and letters, Prince claims that he was a suppressed homosexual whose highly publicised affairs with prominent women were used to build his public persona and to protect his private self. Full description
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
A perceptive biography of a master story teller15 mai 2001
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Biographies of authors always make good books for those who have already read them. Of course an easily accessible story teller like Han Christian Andersen is popular with both kids and their parents and rightly elevated into a cultural mascot by his country cousins,Danes. I spotted this well written book in an obscure corner labeled "Teaching aids" next to the Children's Books Section in the local Border's Books Store. Having visited and stayed in Denmark recently I was familiar with almost all the landmarks that were mentioned and hence could enjoy it better. It was interesting to note that he could not visit his mother in Odense for lack of money to pay the fare for ferry, while today a tourist takes less than an hour by high speed train to zoom there to visit Han Andersen's Childhood Home (preserved as a museum) from Copenhagen.Though his homosexuality recieves some sensitive appraisal that is not the focus of this biography. I was also amused to note the attempt of Danish establishment to claim this icon of Danish culture as one of their own by denying him his working class roots and floating rumours of him, being the illegitimate child of some unmarried Royal Princess !! Royal blood or no royal blood; timeless stories written by this master story teller of nineteenth century will continue to instill a reading habit in many boys and girls for centuries. This book certainly serves as a window into the times and circumstances of this creative genius who had his share of tyrannical teachers and devoted friends. His attempts to eke out a lunch or dinner invitation from wellwishers/friends to save on scholarship money reminded me the circumstances under which many poor South Indian Brahmin boys used to study when they were taking their meals in different households on different days of a week by turns out of sheer goodwill and/or pity that they could muster from their own compatriates. If one likes to read about books and authors another one that immediately comes to mind is: The Art of Fiction : An Introduction to Ten Novels and Their Authors by W. Somerset Maugham.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Simply the best! But read Jackie W. first25 juillet 2010
Pierre A. Beauchamp
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the best of the 3 Andersen bios now available on Amazon! Jens Andersen's, the most recent, is very cautious; too cautious, because he is a Dane still living in Denmark and does not want to step on too many toes. The other 2 biographers, being British, can be more explicit without fear of reprisals. I read the Jackie Wullschlager first; it gave me a good grasp of the key events in Andersen's life. She clearly shows, from a Freudian perspective, how they influenced his most important writings, and deals with Andersen's homosexuality with great honesty and understanding. Alison Prince, however, starts where Jackie Wullschlager left off. HCA's gayness is a given, but she now suggests that he may also have been of royal blood: the illegitimate son of the future King of Denmark! This throws a whole new light on those same key events. Was Andersen then the victim of a cover-up? His career as a writer, which he labelled "My Life as a Fairy Tale", takes on a whole new meaning. Would he have been supported financially by the state, and allowed to hobnob with the rich and famous of his day, had he not been of royal blood? Alison Prince's approach makes one wonder: how should we take the line in THE UGLY DUCKLING that reads: "Being born in a duck-yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan's egg"? I always believed the SWANS referred to great artists and scientists; I was wrong, it seems: they symbolized the Royals he courted and cultivated!