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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories Which Appeal On Many Levels
Many people dismiss Hans Christian Anderson as a mere author of now outdated children's stories. Anderson, as this volume of his annotated stories makes clear, was a poet, folklorist, historian, and commentator as well as a children's writer. In fact, many of his stories were written for adults, not children, and even those aimed at the young have side passages and...
Published on December 31, 2007 by John D. Cofield

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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars two problems
Even though these stories are very good, the numerous illustrations tie in with the stories, and the annotations are informative and thought provoking, there are two problems with this book:

First problem: Amazon mixes the hard back and paperback versions in the same listing. If you order from an associate, be sure to email them with the question about the...
Published 24 months ago by it


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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories Which Appeal On Many Levels, December 31, 2007
This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
Many people dismiss Hans Christian Anderson as a mere author of now outdated children's stories. Anderson, as this volume of his annotated stories makes clear, was a poet, folklorist, historian, and commentator as well as a children's writer. In fact, many of his stories were written for adults, not children, and even those aimed at the young have side passages and comments which were meant for grown up men and women to hear and ponder. This volume contains a good sampling of both of these types of Anderson's stories. Each story is copiously annotated, a real pleasure for the modern reader who may not recognize references to customs and people now far in the past. There are many beautiful illustrations from the multiple published versions of the stories. Most importantly, the stories have been newly translated from the original Danish, so that as much of the original emphasis and focus is present as possible.

This annotated volume not only allows the reader a fresh view of some famous stories, it also makes the enormously complex original author much more comprehensible and even more likeable.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem in the 'annotated' series, May 3, 2008
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This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
Ever since taking some literature courses to complete my degree, I've been fascinated by fairy tales. These stories can be enjoyed on a very basic level, but in order to understand the context, one often needs to know more about the author, the time of the writing, and what the characters and story line connote for the writer and his or her readers - at the time it was written. Using a very simple format of narrow text with wide margins to contain the annotations, this book allows the reader to read the story only, or read the notes only, or read a combination thereof, or, just look at the fascinating pictures and engravings as copied from the original editions. The dust jacket is colorful and ornate, and the paper is crisp, easy on the eye, with error free print. In short, this book will appeal to old and young, scholars and casual readers, and even those just looking for a pretty book to put on the shelf.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Once upon a time...", December 14, 2007
This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
An excellent example of Norton's annotated series, this edition contains what we have come to expect from this publisher, Anderson's goblins and mermaids hopping through the pages, the margins offering historical context, the influence of culture and an interpretation of the selections that hint of the darker nature of fairy tales. Translated by Maria Tatar and Julie K Allen, these tales are lushly illustrated, ink sketches, black and white drawings and full-color renderings that pique the curiosity of young and old alike, "Tales for Children", "Tales for Adults", "Biographies", "Anderson's Readers" and "Bibliography". Children's selections include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Princess and the Pea", "The Little Mermaid" and "The Wild Swan", segueing into the more sophisticated stories for adults, "The Red Shoes", "The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf", "The Goblin and the Grocer" and "The Bell".

Putting the collection in context, the Introduction, "Denmark's Perfect Wizard", speaks to Anderson's genius, a Dane born over 200 years ago. Anderson tackles provocative subjects: compassion ("The Little Match Girl"); hypocrisy ("The Emperor's New Clothes"); and the necessity of hope ("The Ugly Duckling"). Sparking imagination through the texture and color of language, darker issues are dressed in sparkling prose and brilliant hue ("a purple flower with light streaming from its calyx"). It is such language that draws young and old into the world of the fairy tale, subtle lessons on the vagaries of human behavior and the undiluted power of storytelling as a means of universal communication.

Evocative illustrations and fascinating annotations offer a depth of perspective that is common to this series, an exploration of social consciousness and tales couched in the visual and the arcane, a juxtaposition of morality and fantasy that allows the reader to challenge preconceptions and enter the world of expanded imagination, because some stories never grow old. Luan Gaines/ 2007.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book, October 24, 2007
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Nancy Jackson (Vallejo, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
This is a lovely book with an old-fashioned flavor. The pictures are beautiful and child-friendly. It is sized as a large in-the-lap story book. I can imagine a child or grandchild gazing wide-eyed at this book while being read to outloud.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality at a low price., December 24, 2007
This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
I ordered this as a Christmas gift for a friend with young children. The quality of the book exceeded my expectations. The wonderful stories and illustrations are perfect for kids, whilst the scholarship and annotations are excellent for adults.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Personal, the Political, The Poignant and the Poetic, September 24, 2008
This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
This is a fascinating. I read the "Annotated Alice in Wonderland" as a kid (which like this with the annotations contains some information that would be distressing to children or above their level) and could peer into the world of the author and in this case since I was familiar with only some of the stories (as some have dated) to see a complete sociological, psychological and cultural analysis really brings them into a new light and sees Hans Christian Anderson as more than just a writer of "fairy tales" (actually cultural mythology) and a full fledged writer. This is a perfect read to an autobiography about his life and his complete lack of relations with either sex, repression of his sexuality and disability but the analysis is here is not just about him, its about the stories in a larger context. For example, "The Little Match Girl" is in reference to his mother who was forced to beg on the streets, in its reference to her obstracizement by society was clearly referring to how he was treated and its references to being "left out in the cold" refer to both the experience of depression as well as the literal frigid climate of Denmark. This still is a children's classic but in this light it is understood much better but one that is a story that could be appreciated by adults "Aunty Toothache" speaks of the cynicism of an ominous repressive, Freudian, maternal figure who forces him not to write poetry or he will suffer massive toothaches (which he did throughout his life). This was written at the end of his life as he was dying and it was a lament to how he forced himself not to write poetry perhaps to avoid confronting his sexuality. And it is a disturbing semi-gothic story. And if these aspects escaped you they didn't escape Oscar Wilde who was directly inspired by them. So who's to say who had the last laugh? So you can find the more appropriate stories and read them to your young children and then appreciate the annotations and both of you will gain something although you exist in seperate worlds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well put together, May 17, 2013
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This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
For anyone who likes this genre, who likes H.C. Andersen, this book is a treat, well worth the cost. My understanding is that this was used as the basis for Dennis Anfuso's "Oz House." I can see that. Andersen lends himself to the kind of plastic reimagining you'll find in books like that. I love the rarer tales and the thoughtful, serious illumination on them done be the author.Oz House
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Collection of Andersen's work, January 30, 2010
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This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
This is a lovely collection. The cover and pages are beautiful. The annotations are great if you like more background and information. I would recommend this product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched! Fabulous Presentation!, March 25, 2014
By 
Rodney D. Ryder (New Delhi, India) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
An excellent collection for anyone interested in Hans Christian Andersen. Delightful presentation! The text has excellent illustrations! Highly recommended for any library or personal collection!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hans Christian Anderson, September 10, 2013
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This review is from: The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) (Hardcover)
Oh, how I adore this book! I'm huge fan of fairy tales and these enchanting stories and illustrations to boot! Two thumbs up!
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The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books)
The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) by Hans Christian Andersen (Hardcover - November 17, 2007)
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