"THE WORLD'S FIRST GREAT FANTASY STORYTELLER": AMONG THE EARLIEST TRANSLATIONS OF ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES INTO ENGLISH, WITH SEVERAL TALES APPEARING HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ENGLISH
ANDERSEN, Hans Christian. Danish Fairy Legends and Tales. London: William Pickering, 1846. Small octavo, contemporary full green morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $4200.
One of the earliest translations of Andersen's fairy tales into English, published the same year as the first English translation, with several tales appearing in English for the first time (including "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Nightingale"). Handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt.
"Hans Christian Andersen was the world's first great fantasy storyteller" (Clute & Grant, 27). He first published a few of his influential and enormously popular fairy tales in his 1835 Eventyr fortalte for Born (Tales told for Children). The first English translation, Mary Howitt's Wonderful Stories for Children (published in early 1846) was quickly followed by Charles Boner's A Danish Story-Book (published in February 1846) and this edition, Caroline Peachy's Danish Fairy Legends and Tales (published in May). "With the passing of each year, Andersen's genius brought forth new 'wonder stories,' and the fame had so desperately craved and striven for became a reality" (Jean Hersholt Collection, 27). "Andersen's work was immediately naturalized into English children's literature, and was the second great element, after Grimm, in the revival of public enthusiasm for fairy tale and fantasy" (Carpenter & Prichard, 22). "The earliest collections in Danish [of Andersen's tales] are of the utmost rarity; and the English translations in 1846 and 1847 are almost as rare" (Muir, 52). Included in this volume are the first English appearances of "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Nightingale," "The Wild Swans" and "Old Luckoie," as well as Peachey's renderings of "The Little Mermaid, "Little Ida's Flowers" and eight other classic stories. Jean Hersholt Collection, 89. Osborne, 578. CBEL III:576. Armorial bookplate.
Interior fine, minor reinforcement to front free endpaper, upper front corner gently bumped. A beautiful copy.