Hans Christian Andersen
Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) originally trained as a singer and actor, but he gained fame with his fairy tales, which were not meant merely for children but for adults as well. Andersen frequently used a colloquial style that disguises the sophisticated moral teachings of his tales. Many of Andersen's fairy tales depict characters who gain happiness in life after suffering and enduring conflicts. "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Mermaid" are Andersen's most intimate works. A playwright and novelist as well as the author of children's tales, Andersen publications include the novels The Improvisatore and Only a Fiddler, as well as his personal memoirs, The Fairy Tale of My Life.