Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Frogs in fairy tales, folk tales or folk songs (III)

Another very famous authors of fairy tales is Hans Cristian Andersen, often referred as H.C. Andersen. HC Andersen was born in 1805 in Odense, Denmark. Very quickly he displayed great intelligence and imagination. In 1816, after the sudden death of his father in a fire, he started to work as an apprentice for both a weaver and a tailor. Later he worked on a cigarette factory. At the age of 14 he moved to Copenhagen and got enrolled as an actor in a theatre, mainly thanks to his soprano voice. When his voice changed, he had to stop his career as an actor and he decided to focus on writing. In 1822 he published his first story. He quickly met success in the area of literature. In 1835 he published the first part of his Fairy Tales, the work for which he is widely known. Follow other publications and a lot of travels. In 1872 he fell from his bed and never recovered, until he died painfully in 1875, near Copenhagen.
In 2005 a lot of postal administration have commemorated the 200th anniversary of his birth. Danish post made no exception, of course and issued this very beautiful stamp picturing a portrait of Andersen.

Denmark 2005

Among his fairy tales, we can mention some of the most famous : The snow queen, The little mermaid, The little match girl, The ugly ducking, The red shoes. I think a lot of kids in the world have one day heard about one tale from Andersen !
Among the most famous tales there is also Thumbelina, a tale that Andersen published in 1835 and which is inspired from the English folk tale Tom Thumb. Thumbelina tells the story of a little girl, who is not bigger than a thumb, and who is kidnapped by a toad (don’t worry the story has an happy end) ! You can read the full story on my website by click
Thumbelina is pictured on one stamp issued by Denmark in 1997. The stamp pictures Thumbelina being saved from the bad toad by a butterfly.

Denmark 1997 - Scott #1079
The toad and Thumbelina can be also found on a stamp issued by Singapore in 2005.

Singapore 2005 - Scott #11333

The stamp has also been issued as a part of a souvenir sheet illustrating other tales from Andersen : The ugly ducking, The emperor’s new clothes, The little mermaid.

Singapore 2005
Scott #11336a

Another tale from Andersen contains a toad as a main character and is also pictured on a stamp. This tale, probably a little less famous, was published in 1866 and is entitled The toad. You can read the text of the story here.
This tale is pictured on a stamp issued by Nauru in 2005, belonging to a set of four stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of Andersen’s birth.

Nauru 2005 - Scott #541

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