Hans Christian Andersen: A New Life
The creative elite might have mocked or dismissed him, but the great majority of readers could see he was a literary swan.
Hans Christian Andersen was an ugly duckling. Born in grim Odense, Denmark, to an alcoholic laundrywoman, he made an easy target for teasing with his tall, gawky frame and girlish way of talking. He was 11 when his cobbler father died, and 14 when he arrived at his aunt