Dec 13, 2012
By Scott Walker
A Danish historian says he has made a startling discovery in the world of children’s literature. Esban Brage says he has found a copy of what he believes is a previously unknown fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen.
He found the six-page text while searching in the National Archives through boxes that had belonged to wealthy families from Andersen’s home-town of Odense in central Denmark.
The handwritten tale is called Tallow Candle. It had been left seemingly untouched at the bottom of one of the boxes.
Andersen expert Ejnar Stig Askgaard says this is likely one of Andersen’s earliest works, written seven years before his official debut.
Born in 1805, Andersen wrote nearly 160 fairy tales including The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid.