Hans Christian Andersen

Born in Odense, the son of a aa shoe-maker and a washerwoman, he had a talent for poetry, and at 14 went to Copenhagen to seek a job in the theatre. In 1835 he began publishing the tiny pamphlets of fairy tales which are his greatest work and there are more than 150 of them, including The Tin Soldiers, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling. He is considered to be one of the world's greatest storytellers.