John Keats was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his works having been in publication for only four years before his death from tuberculosis at the age of 25. Although his poems were not well received by critics during his lifetime, his reputation grew after his death, by the end of the 19th century, he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets, he had a significant influence on a diverse range of writers. Jorge Luis Borges stated that his first encounter with Keats' work was the most significant literary experience of his life; the poetry of Keats is characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes. This is typical of romantic poets, as they aimed to accentuate extreme emotion through an emphasis on natural imagery. Today his letters are some of the most popular and most analysed in English literature; some of the most acclaimed works of Keats are "Ode to a Nightingale", "Sleep and Poetry", the famous sonnet "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer".
John Keats was born in Moorgate, London, on 31 October 1795 to Thomas Keats and his wife, Frances Jennings. There is little evidence of his exact birthplace. Although Keats and his family seem to have marked his birthday on 29 October, baptism records give the date as the 31st, he was the eldest of four surviving children. Another son was lost in infancy, his father first worked as a hostler at the stables attached to the Swan and Hoop Inn, an establishment he managed, where the growing family lived for some years. Keats believed that he was born at the inn, a birthplace of humble origins, but there is no evidence to support his belief; the Globe pub now occupies the site, a few yards from the modern-day Moorgate station. He was baptised at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, sent to a local dame school as a child, his parents were unable to afford Eton or Harrow, so in the summer of 1803, he was sent to board at John Clarke's school in Enfield, close to his grandparents' house. The small school had a liberal outlook and a progressive curriculum more modern than the larger, more prestigious schools.
In the family atmosphere at Clarke's, Keats developed an interest in classics and history, which would stay with him throughout his short life. The headmaster's son, Charles Cowden Clarke became an important mentor and friend, introducing Keats to Renaissance literature, including Tasso and Chapman's translations; the young Keats was described by his friend Edward Holmes as a volatile character, "always in extremes", given to indolence and fighting. However, at 13 he began focusing his energy on reading and study, winning his first academic prize in midsummer 1809. In April 1804, when Keats was eight, his father died from a skull fracture, suffered when he fell from his horse while returning from a visit to Keats and his brother George at school. Thomas Keats died intestate. Frances remarried two months but left her new husband soon afterwards, the four children went to live with their grandmother, Alice Jennings, in the village of Edmonton. In March 1810, when Keats was 14, his mother died of tuberculosis, leaving the children in the custody of their grandmother.
She appointed Richard Abbey and John Sandell, to take care of them. That autumn, Keats left Clarke's school to apprentice with Thomas Hammond, a surgeon and apothecary, a neighbour and the doctor of the Jennings family. Keats lodged in the attic above the surgery at 7 Church Street until 1813. Cowden Clarke, who remained a close friend of Keats, described this period as "the most placid time in Keats' life." From 1814, Keats had two bequests, held in trust for him until his 21st birthday: £800 willed by his grandfather John Jennings and a portion of his mother's legacy, £8000, to be divided between her living children. It seems. Blame has been laid on Abbey as legal guardian, but he may have been unaware. William Walton, solicitor for Keats' mother and grandmother did know and had a duty of care to relay the information to Keats, it seems. The money would have made a critical difference to the poet's expectations. Money was always a great concern and difficulty for him, as he struggled to stay out of debt and make his way in the world independently.
Having finished his apprenticeship with Hammond, Keats registered as a medical student at Guy's Hospital and began studying there in October 1815. Within a month of starting, he was accepted as a dresser at the hospital, assisting surgeons during operations, the equivalent of a junior house surgeon today, it was a significant promotion. Keats' long and expensive medical training with Hammond and at Guy's Hospital led his family to assume he would pursue a lifelong career in medicine, assuring financial security, it seems that at this point Keats had a genuine desire to become a doctor, he lodged near the hospital, at 28 St Thomas's Street in Southwark, with other medical students, including Henry Stephens who became a famous inventor and ink magnate. However, Keats' training took up increasing amounts of his writing time, he was ambivalent about his medical career, he felt. He had written his first extant poem, "An Imitati
Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind was a Swedish opera singer known as the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe, undertook an extraordinarily popular concert tour of the United States beginning in 1850, she was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music from 1840. Lind became famous after her performance in Der Freischütz in Sweden in 1838. Within a few years, she had suffered vocal damage, but the singing teacher Manuel García saved her voice, she was in great demand in opera roles throughout Sweden and northern Europe during the 1840s, was associated with Felix Mendelssohn. After two acclaimed seasons in London, she announced her retirement from opera at the age of 29. In 1850, Lind went to America at the invitation of the showman P. T. Barnum, she gave 93 large-scale concerts for him and continued to tour under her own management. She earned more than $350,000 from these concerts, donating the proceeds to charities, principally the endowment of free schools in Sweden.
With her new husband, Otto Goldschmidt, she returned to Europe in 1852 where she had three children and gave occasional concerts over the next two decades, settling in England in 1855. From 1882, for some years, she was a professor of singing at the Royal College of Music in London. Born in Klara in central Stockholm, Lind was the illegitimate daughter of Niclas Jonas Lind, a bookkeeper, Anne-Marie Fellborg, a schoolteacher. Lind's mother had divorced her first husband for adultery but, for religious reasons, refused to remarry until after his death in 1834. Lind's parents married when she was 14. Lind's mother ran a day school for girls out of her home; when Lind was about 9, her singing was overheard by the maid of Mademoiselle Lundberg, the principal dancer at the Royal Swedish Opera. The maid, astounded by Lind's extraordinary voice, returned the next day with Lundberg, who arranged an audition and helped her gain admission to the acting school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, where she studied with Karl Magnus Craelius, the singing master at the theatre.
Lind began to sing onstage when she was 10. She had a vocal crisis at the age of 12 and had to stop singing for a time, her first great role was Agathe in Weber's Der Freischütz in 1838 at the Royal Swedish Opera. At 20, she was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and court singer to the King of Sweden and Norway, her voice became damaged by overuse and untrained singing technique, but her career was saved by the singing teacher Manuel García with whom she studied in Paris from 1841 to 1843. He insisted that she should not sing at all for three months, to allow her vocal cords to recover, before he started to teach her a healthy and secure vocal technique. After Lind had been with García for a year, the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, an early and faithful admirer of her talent, arranged an audition for her at the Opéra in Paris, but she was rejected; the biographer Francis Rogers concludes that Lind resented the rebuff: when she became an international star, she always refused invitations to sing at the Paris Opéra.
Lind returned to the Royal Swedish Opera improved as a singer by García's training. She toured Denmark where, in 1843, Hans Christian Andersen fell in love with her. Although the two became good friends, she did not reciprocate his romantic feelings, she is believed to have inspired three of his fairy tales: "Beneath the Pillar", "The Angel" and "The Nightingale". He wrote, "No book or personality whatever has exerted a more ennobling influence on me, as a poet, than Jenny Lind. For me she opened the sanctuary of art." The biographer Carol Rosen believes that after Lind rejected Andersen as a suitor, he portrayed her as The Snow Queen with a heart of ice. In December 1844, through Meyerbeer's influence, Lind was engaged to sing the title role in Bellini's opera Norma in Berlin; that led to more engagements in opera houses throughout Germany and Austria, but such was her success in Berlin that she continued there for four months before she left for other cities. Among her admirers were Robert Schumann, Hector Berlioz and, most for her, Felix Mendelssohn.
Ignaz Moscheles wrote: "Jenny Lind has enchanted me... her song with two concertante flutes is the most incredible feat in the way of bravura singing that can be heard". That number, from Meyerbeer's Ein Feldlager in Schlesien became one of the songs most associated with Lind, she was called on to sing it wherever she performed in concert, her operatic repertoire comprised the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Maria di Rohan, Norma, La sonnambula and La vestale as well as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Adina in L'elisir d'amore and Alice in Robert le diable. About that time, she became known as "the Swedish Nightingale". In December 1845, the day after her debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus under the baton of Mendelssohn, she sang without fee for a charity concert in aid of the Orchestra Widows' Fund, her devotion and generosity to charitable causes remained a key aspect of her career and enhanced her international popularity among the unmusical. At the Royal Swedish Opera, Lind had been friends with the tenor Julius Günther.
They sang together both in opera and on the concert stage and became romantically linked by 1844. Their schedules separated them, however, as Günther remained in Stockholm and became a student of Garcia's in Paris in 1846–1847. After reuniting in Sweden, according to Lind's 1891 Memoir, they became engaged to marry in the spring of 1848, just before Lind returned to England. However, t
Tivoli is an amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken in nearby Klampenborg in Denmark. With 4.6 million visitors in 2017, Tivoli is the second-most popular seasonal amusement park in the world after Europa-Park. Tivoli is the most-visited theme park in Scandinavia, the fifth most-visited theme park in Europe, only behind Disneyland Park, Europa-Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and Efteling; the amusement park was first called "Tivoli & Vauxhall". It is mentioned in various books, like Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Tivoli's founder, Georg Carstensen, obtained a five-year charter to create Tivoli by telling King Christian VIII that "when the people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics"; the monarch granted Carstensen use of 15 acres of the fortified glacis outside Vesterport for an annual rent. Therefore, until the 1850s, Tivoli was outside the city, accessible through Vesterport.
From the start, Tivoli included a variety of attractions: buildings in the exotic style of an imaginary Orient: a theatre, band stands and cafés, flower gardens, mechanical amusement rides such as a merry-go-round and a primitive scenic railway. After dark, colored lamps illuminated the gardens. On certain evenings, specially designed fireworks could be seen reflected in Tivoli's lake. Composer Hans Christian Lumbye was Tivoli's musical director from 1843 to 1872. Lumbye was inspired by Viennese waltz composers like the Strauss family, became known as the "Strauss of the North." Many of his compositions are inspired by the gardens, including "Salute to the Ticket Holders of Tivoli", "Carnival Joys" and "A Festive Night at Tivoli". The Tivoli Symphony Orchestra still performs many of his works. Tivoli was used predominantly in the 1961 science fiction film, Reptilicus. In 1874, Chinese style Pantomimeteatret took the place of an older smaller theatre; the audience stands in the stage being inside the building.
The theatre's "curtain" is a mechanical peacock's tail. From the beginning, the theatre was the home of Italian pantomimes, introduced in Denmark by the Italian Giuseppe Casorti; this tradition, dependent on the Italian Commedia dell'Arte has been kept alive, including the characters Cassander, Columbine and popular with the youngest spectators, the stupid servant Pierrot. The absence of spoken dialogue is an advantage, as Tivoli is now an international tourist attraction. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Tivoli hosted human exhibitions. In 1943, Nazi sympathisers burnt many of Tivoli's buildings, including the concert hall, to the ground. Temporary buildings were constructed in their place and the park was back in operation after a few weeks. Tivoli is always evolving without abandoning its original charm or traditions; as Georg Carstensen said in 1844, "Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished," a sentiment echoed just over a century when Walt Disney said of his own Tivoli-inspired theme park, "Disneyland will never be completed.
It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." In Icelandic, Danish and Swedish, the word tivoli has become synonymous with any amusement park. The park is best known for its wooden roller coaster, Rutschebanen, or as some people call it, built in 1914, it is one of the world's oldest wooden roller coasters, still operating today. An operator controls the ride by braking down the hills, it is an ACE Coaster Classic. Another roller coaster, The Demon, features an Immelmann loop, a vertical loop, a zero-G roll all during the ride time of just one minute and forty six seconds. An old roller coaster, The Snake, was removed to have enough space for The Demon. In 2017, Tivoli Gardens added an optional virtual reality experience to the ride, simulating a flight through ancient China, along with encounters with dragons and demons; the Demon is situated next to the concert hall. A well-known swing ride, The Star Flyer, opened in Tivoli in 2006. 80 metres high and built by the Australian company Funtime, it offers panoramic views of the city.
On 1 May 2009, Tivoli Gardens opened the new ride Vertigo, a looping plane ride where the rider pilots the ride, able to control the plane. A Zamperla Air Race ride, opened on 11 April 2013, it is a giant swing and spinner with centrifugal powers up to 4 g, named after the constellation of the Eagle. The newest attraction is Fatamorgana, which opened in 2016; this is the world's first Condor 2GH, which offers two separate seating arrangements, one milder version with two-seater gondolas, a thrilling version in which riders are slung around at high speed while seated in a ring and facing away from the center. Aquila - giant swing and spinner ride that opened in 2013; the Bumper Cars - classic bumper cars that date from 1926. Fatamorgana - a 43 m tall hybrid Condor ride that opened in 2016. Huss; the Ferris Wheel - Ferris wheel which opened during WWII in 1943. The Flying Trunk - a 7-minute H. C. Andersen-inspired dark ride that opened in 1993 and was renovated in 2010. Mack Rides; the Galley Ships - roundabout boats that opened in
Thomas Vilhelm Pedersen was a Danish painter and illustrator, above all remembered for his illustrations for fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. He was the first artist to illustrate Andersen's works, his drawings were used in the Danish and German editions. Pedersen was born in Karlslunde, he followed in his father's footsteps and became an officer in the Royal Danish Navy. He was interested in drawing and in 1843 Christian VIII granted him four years' paid leave to enable him to pursuit an artistic career, he enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He first exhibited his works 1847 but voluntarily returned to the army at the outbreak of the Three Tear War, he participated in the Battle of Eckernförde which he would depict in two paintings. He continued his interrupted naval career until his early death in 1859. Andersen's earliest tales were published without illustrations, but in 1849, his popularity was growing and a new, five volume collection of his tales was published with 125 illustrations by Pedersen, a young naval officer.
The Pedersen illustrations found favor with the author, and, in Denmark today, are considered inseparable from the fairy tales in the same way that the John Tenniel illustrations are for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland or Quentin Blake illustrations are for Roald Dahl's children's books. Woodcuts from Pedersen's drawings were first produced for a German edition of the tales published by Carl B. Lorck in Leipzig. Andersen's Danish publisher, C. A. Reitzel, paid Lorck for the rights to the Pedersen illustrations, his sons Thorolf Pedersen and Viggo Pedersen were painters. Works by or about Vilhelm Pedersen at Internet Archive Illustrations by Vilhelm Pedersen and Lorenz Frølich at a Hans Christian Andersen website Ask Art: Vilhelm Pedersen The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen at Google Books Weilbach, Ph. "Pedersen, Thomas Vilhelm" in Carl Frederik Bricka Dansk biografisk Lexikon / XII. Bind. Münch – Peirup. Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandels Forlag, pp. 641–62. Vilhelm Pedersen at Library of Congress Authorities, with 13 catalogue records
The Ugly Duckling
"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from the others around him until, much to his delight, he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all; the story is beloved around the world as a tale about personal transformation for the better. “The Ugly Duckling” was first published 11 November 1843, with three other tales by Andersen in Copenhagen, Denmark to great critical acclaim. The tale has been adapted to various media including opera and animated film; the tale is Andersen's invention and owes no debt to fairy tales or folklore. When the story begins, a mother duck's eggs hatch. One of the little birds is perceived by the other birds and animals on the farm as an ugly little creature and suffers much verbal and physical abuse from them, he wanders sadly from the barnyard and lives with wild ducks and geese until hunters slaughter the flocks. He finds a home with an old woman, but her cat and hen tease and taunt him mercilessly and once again he sets off alone.
The duckling sees a flock of migrating wild swans. He is delighted and excited. Winter arrives. A farmer finds and carries the freezing little duckling home, but the foundling is frightened by the farmer’s noisy children and flees the house, he spends a miserable winter alone in the outdoors hiding in a cave on the lake that freezes over. When spring arrives, a flock of swans descends on the lake; the ugly duckling, now having grown and matured, is unable to endure a life of solitude and hardship any more and decides to throw himself at the flock of swans deciding that it is better to be killed by such beautiful birds than to live a life of ugliness and misery. He is shocked when the swans welcome and accept him, only to realize by looking at his reflection in the water that he has grown into one of them; the flock takes to the air, the now beautiful swan spreads his gorgeous large wings and takes flight with the rest of his new kind family. Andersen first conceived the story in 1842 while enjoying the beauty of nature during his stay at the country estate of Bregentved, lavished a year's worth of attention upon it.
He considered "The Young Swans" as the tale's title but, not wanting to spoil the element of surprise in the protagonist’s transformation, discarded it for "The Ugly Duckling". He confessed that the story was "a reflection of my own life", when the critic Georg Brandes questioned Andersen about whether he would write his autobiography, the poet claimed that it had been written — "The Ugly Duckling".“The Ugly Duckling” was first published in Copenhagen, Denmark 11 November 1843 in New Fairy Tales. First Book. First Collection. 1844.. For the first time the phrase "told for children" was not part of the title—an omission Andersen scholar Jackie Wullschlager believes exhibited a new confidence on Andersen's part: "These were the most mature and constructed tales he had written, though some of them at once became, have remained, favorites of children, Andersen here melds together the childlike and the profound with exceptional artistry." The first edition of 850 was sold out by December 18, Reitzel planned another 850.
The tale was fourth and last in the volume that included, "The Angel", "The Nightingale", "The Sweethearts. The volume sold out immediately and Andersen wrote on December 18, 1843: “The book is selling like hot cakes. All the papers are praising it, everyone is reading it! No books of mine are appreciated in the way these fairy tales are!” Andersen promoted the tale by reading it aloud at social gatherings. The tale was republished 18 December 1849 in Fairy Tales, and again 15 December 1862 in Fairy Stories. First Volume. 1862. The tale has since been translated into various languages and published around the world and has become the most famous story by Andersen. In reviewing Hans Christian Andersen: A New Life by biographer Jens Andersen, British journalist Anne Chisholm writes “Andersen himself was a tall, ugly boy with a big nose and big feet, when he grew up with a beautiful singing voice and a passion for the theater he was cruelly teased and mocked by other children"; the ugly duckling is the child of a swan.
Speculation suggests that Andersen was the illegitimate son of Prince Christian Frederik, found this out some time before he wrote the book, that being a swan in the story was a metaphor not just for inner beauty and talent but for secret royal lineage. Bruno Bettelheim observes in The Uses of Enchantment that the Ugly Duckling is not confronted with the tasks, tests, or trials of the typical fairy tale hero. “No need to accomplish anything is expressed in “The Ugly Duckling”. Things are fated and unfold accordingly, whether or not the hero takes some action.” In conjunction with Bettelheim’s assessment, Maria Tatar notes in ’’The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen’’ that Andersen suggests that the Ugly Duckling‘s superiority resides in the fact that he is of a breed different from the barnyard rabble, that dignity and worth and aesthetic superiority are determined by nature rather than accomplishment. According to Carole Rosen, the story was inspired in part by Andersen's friend Jenny Lind.
"The Ugly Duckling" became one of Andersen's best lov
A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, painting, landscape, or other source. The German term Tondichtung appears to have been first used by the composer Carl Loewe in 1828; the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt first applied the term Symphonische Dichtung to his 13 works in this vein. While many symphonic poems may compare in size and scale to symphonic movements, they are unlike traditional classical symphonic movements, in that their music is intended to inspire listeners to imagine or consider scenes, specific ideas or moods, not to focus on following traditional patterns of musical form such as sonata form; this intention to inspire listeners was a direct consequence of Romanticism, which encouraged literary and dramatic associations in music. According to Hugh Macdonald, the symphonic poem met three 19th-century aesthetic goals: it related music to outside sources; the symphonic poem remained a popular composition form from the 1840s until the 1920s, when composers began to abandon the genre.
Some piano and chamber works, such as Arnold Schoenberg's string sextet Verklärte Nacht, have similarities with symphonic poems in their overall intent and effect. However, the term symphonic poem is accepted to refer to orchestral works. A symphonic poem may stand on its own, or it can be part of a series combined into a symphonic suite or cycle. For example, The Swan of Tuonela is a tone poem from Jean Sibelius's Lemminkäinen Suite, Vltava by Bedřich Smetana is part of the six-work cycle Má vlast. While the terms symphonic poem and tone poem have been used interchangeably, some composers such as Richard Strauss and Jean Sibelius have preferred the latter term for their works; the first use of the German term Tondichtung appears to have been by Carl Loewe, applied not to an orchestral work but to his piece for piano solo, Mazeppa, Op. 27, based on the poem of that name by Lord Byron, written twelve years before Liszt treated the same subject orchestrally. The musicologist Mark Bonds suggests that in the second quarter of the 19th century, the future of the symphonic genre seemed uncertain.
While many composers continued to write symphonies during the 1820s and 30s, "there was a growing sense that these works were aesthetically far inferior to Beethoven's.... The real question was not so much whether symphonies could still be written, but whether the genre could continue to flourish and grow". Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann and Niels Gade achieved successes with their symphonies, putting at least a temporary stop to the debate as to whether the genre was dead. Composers began to explore the "more compact form" of the concert overture "...as a vehicle within which to blend musical and pictoral ideas." Examples included Mendelssohn's overtures The Hebrides. Between 1845 and 1847, the Belgian composer César Franck wrote an orchestral piece based on Victor Hugo's poem Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne; the work exhibits characteristics of a symphonic poem, some musicologists, such as Norman Demuth and Julien Tiersot, consider it the first of its genre, preceding Liszt's compositions.
However, Franck did not perform his piece. Liszt's determination to explore and promote the symphonic poem gained him recognition as the genre's inventor; the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt desired to expand single-movement works beyond the concert overture form. The music of overtures is to inspire listeners to imagine images, or moods; the opening movement, with its interplay of contrasting themes under sonata form, was considered the most important part of the symphony. To achieve his objectives, Liszt needed a more flexible method of developing musical themes than sonata form would allow, but one that would preserve the overall unity of a musical composition. Liszt found his method through two compositional practices; the first practice was cyclic form, a procedure established by Beethoven in which certain movements are not only linked but reflect one another's content. Liszt took Beethoven's practice one step further, combining separate movements into a single-movement cyclic structure. Many of Liszt's mature works follow this pattern, of which Les Préludes is one of the best-known examples.
The second practice was thematic transformation, a type of variation in which one theme is changed, not into a related or subsidiary theme but into something new and independent. As musicologist Hugh Macdonald wrote of Liszt's works in this genre, the intent was "to display the traditional logic of symphonic thought. Thematic transformation, like cyclic form, was nothing new in itself, it had been used by Mozart and Haydn. In the final movement of his Ninth Symphony, Beethoven had transformed the theme of the "Ode to Joy" into a Turkish march. Weber and Berlioz had transformed themes, Schubert used thematic transformation to bind together the movements of his Wanderer Fantasy
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children: his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality. Andersen's fairy tales, of which no fewer than 3381 works have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well, his most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Little Match Girl" and "Thumbelina". His stories have inspired ballets and animated and live-action films. One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards is named "H. C. Andersens Boulevard". Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on 2 April 1805, he was an only child. Andersen's father Hans, considered himself related to nobility.
A persistent speculation suggests that Andersen was an illegitimate son of King Christian VIII, but this notion has been challenged. Andersen's father, who had received an elementary school education, introduced Andersen to literature, reading to him the Arabian Nights. Andersen's mother, Anne Marie Andersdatter, was an illiterate washerwoman. Following her husband's death in 1816, she remarried in 1818. Andersen was sent to a local school for poor children where he received a basic education and had to support himself, working as an apprentice to a weaver and to a tailor. At fourteen, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor. Having an excellent soprano voice, he was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre, but his voice soon changed. A colleague at the theatre told him. Taking the suggestion Andersen began to focus on writing. Jonas Collin, director of the Royal Danish Theatre, held great affection for Andersen and sent him to a grammar school in Slagelse, persuading King Frederick VI to pay part of the youth's education.
Andersen had by published his first story, "The Ghost at Palnatoke's Grave". Though not a stellar pupil, he attended school at Elsinore until 1827, he said his years in school were the darkest and most bitter of his life. At one school, he lived at his schoolmaster's home, where he was abused, being told that it was "to improve his character", he said the faculty had discouraged him from writing, driving him into a depression. A early fairy tale by Andersen, "The Tallow Candle", was discovered in a Danish archive in October 2012; the story, written in the 1820s, was about a candle. It was written while Andersen was still in school and dedicated to a benefactor in whose family's possession it remained until it turned up among other family papers in a local archive. In 1829, Andersen enjoyed considerable success with the short story "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager", its protagonist meets characters ranging from Saint Peter to a talking cat. Andersen followed this success with a theatrical piece, Love on St. Nicholas Church Tower, a short volume of poems.
Although he made little progress writing and publishing thereafter, in 1833 he received a small travel grant from the king, thus enabling him to set out on the first of many journeys through Europe. At Jura, near Le Locle, Andersen wrote the story "Agnete and the Merman", he spent an evening in the Italian seaside village of Sestri Levante the same year, inspiring the title of "The Bay of Fables". In October 1834, he arrived in Rome. Andersen's travels in Italy were to be reflected in his first novel, a fictionalized autobiography titled The Improvisatore, published in 1835 to instant acclaim. Andersen's initial attempts at writing fairy tales were revisions of stories that he heard as a child, his original fairy tales were not met with recognition, due to the difficulty of translating them. In 1835, Andersen published the first two installments of his Fairy Tales. More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1837; the collection comprises nine tales, including "The Tinderbox", "The Princess and the Pea", "Thumbelina", "The Little Mermaid" and "The Emperor's New Clothes".
The quality of these stories was not recognized, they sold poorly. At the same time, Andersen enjoyed more success with two novels, O. T. and Only a Fiddler. Much of his work was influenced by the Bible as when he was growing up Christianity was important in the Danish culture. After a visit to Sweden in 1837, Andersen became inspired by Scandinavism and committed himself to writing a poem that would convey the relatedness of Swedes and Norwegians. In July 1839, during a visit to the island of Funen, Andersen wrote the text of his poem Jeg er en Skandinav to capture "the beauty of the Nordic spirit, the way the three sister nations have grown together" as part of a Scandinavian national anthem. Composer Otto Lindblad set the poem to music, the composition was published in January 1840, its popularity peaked in 1845, after which it was sung. Andersen returned to the fairy tale genre in 1838 with another collection, Fairy Tales Told for Children. New Collection. First Booklet (Eventyr, fortalte for Børn.