Author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75)

Author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75)

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) was born in Odense, Denmark, on April 2, 1805. At the age of fourteen, Andersen moved to Copenhagen seeking employment as an actor. He was said to have a pleasant soprano voice and succeeded in being admitted to the Royal Danish Theatre. This career stopped short when his voice broke. Instead, he took to literature. His fairy tales, including The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, and The Little Mermaid, have been translated into more than 150 languages and continue to be published in millions of copies all over the world.

Hans Christian Andersen died on August 4, 1875. A week later, his body was interred in Assistens Kirkegård, in a grave plot belonging to one of Andersen's close friends, Edvard Collin. Edvard and his wife, Henriette, share the plot with the world-famous poet, but their grave stone has been transferred to another cemetery (Frederiksberg Ældre Kirkegård) by descendants.

The verse on Andersen's monument comes from his poem "Oldingen" (The Old Man) from 1874, and it reads: "The soul God has created in his image / is incalculable, cannot be lost; / our life here on earth is the seed of eternity / our bodies die, but the soul cannot die!"

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