Tuesday, 10 December 2013

YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson - Hans Christian Andersen, Jean Hersholt, Noel Daniel

Release Date: 22/10/13
Publisher:  Taschen


This is a cornerstone of modern fantasy...An exciting new compilation of Hans Christian Andersen's world-famous fairy tales. The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen presents the most famous Andersen stories, including classics such as The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea, The Little Match Girl, and The Snow Queen, in a highly esteemed 1942 translation by Jean Hersholt with illustrations by outstanding artists of their eras. The book contains a sparkling and unexpected selection of beautiful artwork from the 1900s to the 1980s by legends of fantasy - the deeply influential Kay Nielsen and beloved Arthur Rackham, the distinctive talents of Swedish light Einar Nerman and Ukranian avant-gardist Georgy Narbut, the revered Czech visionary Josef Palecek, the eccentric Tom Seidmann-Freud (niece of Sigmund Freud), and the groundbreaking film animator Lotte Reiniger, as well as exciting discoveries. It also features historic and contemporary silhouettes throughout the book, which enrich the presentation of Andersen's tales in a one-of-a-kind format and make this a fresh addition to children's libraries as well as adult art book collections. In addition to the tales and illustrations, the book also contains an introduction to Andersen's legacy, brief historical introductions to each fairy tale, and extended artists' biographies in the appendix. For adults and children alike, this lovingly researched and designed edition shares the eternal magic of Andersen's tales, celebrating these tender, heartfelt stories that have entered both our collective imagination and literary cannon. It brings together the most famous Hans Christian Andersen tales in a one-of-a-kind design. It features illustrations by famous artists from Austria, Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the Ukraine, and the United States in a unique format pairing one tale with one artist. It includes a highly-esteemed translation by Jean Hersholt accessible to readers of all ages. It contains dozens of all-new silhouettes specially commissioned for the book and well as vintage gems by fine artists. Following 22 fairy tales are featured in the book: The Princess and the Pea, The Nightingale, The Swineherd, The Old Man is Always Right, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Darning Needle, Twelve by Mail, The Brave Tin Soldier, The Snow Queen, The Flea and the Professor, Thumbelina, The Sweethearts, Ole Lukoie, Five Peas in a Pod, The Ugly Duckling, Little Ida's Flowers, The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, The Flying Trunk, The Little Match Girl, The Tinderbox, and The Pen and Inkstand.


Having loved the Brother Grimm Fairy Tales that had been lovingly retranslated and illustrated last year, I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on one for Hans Christian Anderson, after all, with classic tales like The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid and my own favourite, the Ugly Duckling, I really wanted to have something that was not only beautiful to flick through but would enchant my nephews and niece when I sat down to read to them.

What Taschen has done with this is bring artwork from around the world, is bring a wonderful translation to the fore and give it not only a modern voice but also, by choosing a translation by a Hollywood/Radio Star, allowed the stories to be played out in full in a modern voice in, what I feel, is a manner for tales around the fireplace or to help wrap a child up in bed.

It’s beautiful, has a huge amount of stories within and knowing how much pleasure the Grimm title brought, this will certainly prove itself more than worth the money for such a book that will be lovingly passed down. Thank you Taschen.

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