Hans Christian Andersen and The Ugly Duckling
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His own life was captured in The Ugly Duckling, as the poor son of a cobbler and a washerwoman Hans Christian Andersen rose to become the ‘swan’ of Europe, courted by royalty and showered with honours and medals. But Andersen’s search for love never ended in the ‘happy ever after’ of his tales, and his insecurities made him obsessively rewrite the story of his life. Charles Dickens condemned him as “a bony bore”, but aristocrats and royals were delighted to invite him to stay.
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