Wonderful Stories for Children

Translated from the Danish by Mary Howitt

ANDERSEN, Hans Christian

FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES

ANDERSEN, Hans Christian Wonderful Stories for Children Translated from the Danish by Mary Howitt

[Visetelly Bros & Co.] for Chapman & Hall, 1846.

First edition, first issue with the author's name misspelt on the title page. 16.5cm x 12.4cm Original publisher's dark green cloth with elaborate blind-stamped border to covers and titles and decoration to upper cover and spine. Pink endpapers, all edges marbled. Four hand-coloured, wood-engraved plates. A fine copy, bright and crisp with just a little bubbling to the cloth on the rear board. An exceptionally well preserved copy.

The first edition of Hans Andersen's fairy tales in English. Stories included in this work are: Ole Lukoie, The Daisy, The Naughty Boy, Tommelise( Thumbelina), The Rose Elf, The Garden of Paradise, A Night in the Kitchen, Little Ida's Flowers, The Constant Tin Soldier and The Storks.
Collections of Andersen's fairy tales had been published from 1837 in Denmark and whilst moderately successful, their popularity and fame had been limited to Scandinavia. Mary Howitt, well known as a writer of children's verse, had taught herself Swedish and Danish after taking an interest in Scandinavian literature during a stay in Heidelberg in 1840. Through these endeavours she met Andersen and translated two of his earlier autobiographical novels. Her background made her a natural choice for the translator of his new children's tales.
"...it is through her unstinting efforts that Andersen's work first became known in Britain, and because of them these Danish productions won the admiration, and affection and more the creative emulation of Charles Dickens himself."- Paul Binding (Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness)
In fact this book was the first of no less than four independent translations made in the same year,
"In February 1846 Mary Howitt brought out her own selection of Andersen's fairy tales... But 1846 was altogether an annus mirabilis for Andersen in the English publishing world. Also in February there appeared, from Joseph Cundalls, London a collection of this stories translated by Charles Boner. May saw versions of Andersen's fairy-tales by Caoline Peachey, issued under the title Danish Fairy Tales and Legends, and June a further selection by Charles Boner" - Paul Binding (Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness)
The influence of these tales on the English children's literature cannot be overstated. Prior to this period, writing for children was largely instructional or moralistic. Andersen's tales demonstrated that works of fantasy and imagination, far from being spiritually damaging for children, were stimulating and engaging, thus paving the way for the inventiveness of Lewis Carroll and all who followed.

Osborne page 17

Stock ID: 33447

£12,500.00

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