Books: Once Upon a Time

THE WILD SWAN by Monica Stirling. 383 pages. Harcourt, Brace & World. $6.95.

In the Danish town of Odense, all the signposts carry an extra arm. It points the way to Andersens Hus, where in 1805 an ugly duckling named Hans Christian Andersen was born. The world today needs no introduction to this cobbler's son whose fairy stories, published in dozens of tongues, will last as long as there are children to hear them. Andersen did not write them for children, or for money or fame, although the stories brought him both. He wrote them for himself, and Novelist Monica Stirling's tender...

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