was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his FAIRY TALES, a literary genre he so mastered that his works have been immortalized in children's world literature. Andersen's popularity was not limited to children, as his fairy tales—called eventyrs, or "fantastic tales"—express universal themes that transcend age and nationality.
During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. Andersen's fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.