Books: The Ugly Duckling

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

by ELIAS BREDSDORFF

376 pages. Scribners. $10.

"Children ask of the story what they ask of a dream," observed Poet Randall Jarrell, "that it satisfy their wishes." For more than a century, Hans Christian Andersen has satisfied the wishes of the Western world's children. One hundred years after his death he remains the unsurpassed master of the fairy tale. Who has not smiled ruefully at the imperial victim of The Emperor's New Clothes, or identified with The Princess on the Pea? What youth remains ignorant of Andersen's articulate birds and magic elves? Yet, as Cambridge Professor Elias Bredsdorff brilliantly...

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