Here’s a treat for fairy tale lovers out there, a copy of what is believed to be Hans Christian Andersen’s first fairy tale was recently found in a private archive in Denmark.
The artifact found was a 190-year-old, six-page copy of the original manuscript written in ink, and is believed to be written when he was a schoolboy.
Entitled The Tallow Candle, the story depicts the story of a candle that is left dirty and forgotten, but eventually finds its inner beauty again with the help of a tinder box.
The original piece was dedicated to Madam Bunkeflod, a vicar’s widow that Andersen visited regularly and borrowed books from. The copy of the manuscript was found last October in the private archive of the Plum family, and has been in the hands of experts for the past two months so it could be studied and validated of its authenticity.
“It’s like a high to be able to work with his first attempt at a fairy tale,” says Andersen expert, Ejnar Stig Askgaard of the Odense City Museum, to the Danish newspaper, Politiken. “It was a great experience to read it for the first time.”
Hans Christian Andersen lived from 1805 to 1875 in Denmark. He had penned a multitude of poems and stories that have been translated into more than a hundred languages. He is most known for his fairy tales such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, and The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
You can read the full text of The Tallow Candle here.