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Hans Christian Andersen never got his own 'happily ever after'

Hans Christian Andersen Never Got His Own 'Happily Ever After'


A newly discovered Hans Christian Andersen letter reveals the fairy tale writer never got to have his own "happily ever after."



The emotional letter, believed to be written in 1832 when Andersen was just 27 years old, indicates the author of tales such as "The Little Mermaid" and "The Princess And The Pea" never got over his first love.

The letter was sent to Christian Voigt, the brother of Riborg Voigt -- a woman he continued to love despite the fact she married another man. In it, he confessed that a number of his poems were inspired by his unrequited feelings for Riborg. But those feelings may not have been so unrequited.

Denmark's leading Hans Christian Andersen expert told reporters, "If only he could have known that he was not alone in his infatuation. When Riborg Voigt died, the poems he had written for her were found along with a bouquet and a photograph of Andersen in a hidden compartment in her drawer."

Andersen acted in a similar way. He carried a letter from Riborg in a purse that he wore around his neck until the day that he died in 1875, at age 70.

Andersen never dreamed that his letter would ever be discovered -- in fact, he asked Christian Voigt to burn the letter after reading. Clearly, he didn't. After Riborg's great-grandson died, Andersen's letter was found among his belongings.

The letter has been donated to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, who already has a number of letters between the poet and his lost love.

The poet once wrote, "If you looked down to the bottom of my soul, you would understand fully the source of my longing and – pity me. Even the open, transparent lake has its unknown depths, which no divers know."

Not your normal fairy tale ending, but it was Andersen who also said "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale."

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weeziebathome August 01 2014 at 9:00 AM

I'm shocked that his wish to not make this common knowledge (please burn the letter after reading it) was ignored. This letter should never be in a museum for others to see. Respect is something we have too little of ....

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GUNSLINGER August 01 2014 at 8:55 AM

Join the #$&&*#^*#$%^ing club, the line forms behind me!!!!!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
thetreeman August 01 2014 at 10:06 AM

It this was titled "

Hans Christian Anderson wrote tales of love -- but a newly-discovered letter shows he never found his own.

Confession he never wanted shared "

Why are you sharing them now? It's nice his wishes were respected.

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1 reply
etinamax thetreeman August 01 2014 at 9:10 PM

My thoughts exactly. Is nothing sacred anymore.

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johnria August 01 2014 at 2:05 PM

He must have been a wonderful man. The fairy tales he wrote were nice enough to read to young children. They all had a message of love, trust and the differences of social standing affecting the world at the time. The fairy tales of the Grimm brothers are often too scary to read to little children. This man was a giant.

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chuck August 01 2014 at 8:48 AM

my happy ever after came to an end in 2011 when my wife died from a heart attack.

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1 reply
BlessedWithABrain chuck August 01 2014 at 12:03 PM

God bless you Chuck. I pray you find peace.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
cromwell1650 August 01 2014 at 9:26 AM

Had he gotten what he wanted, had he found his true love, he would never have been Hans Christian Andersen.

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1 reply
jpjgamas cromwell1650 August 01 2014 at 10:20 PM

I disagree! If he had married his love they might of had children for whom he would of written more stories.

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BlessedWithABrain August 01 2014 at 12:04 PM

Here's yet another example of a timely lesson: If you don't want someone to know something, don't write it down. Facebook &Twitter users, are ya listening?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
cgssnavickas August 01 2014 at 10:02 AM

I wonder why she married another man if she was in love with HCA. My guess is that her marriage was probably arranged, and in those days you didn't defy your parents wishes for you.

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1 reply
I love Snickers cgssnavickas August 01 2014 at 11:39 AM

It could be because she knew the truth about HCA's other attractions. "The Little Mermaid was written as a love letter by Hans Christian Andersen to Edvard Collin. Andersen, upon hearing of Collin’s engagement to a young woman, proclaimed his love to him. He told him ”I long for you as though you were a beautiful Calabrian girl.” Edvard Collin turned Andersen down. Andersen then wrote The Little Mermaid to symbolize his inability to have Collin just as a mermaid cannot be with a human. He sent it to Collin in 1936 and it goes down in history as one of the most profound love letters ever written."

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1 reply
easyapple I love Snickers August 01 2014 at 6:59 PM

He died in 1875.

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hensteeth August 01 2014 at 7:34 AM

Unrequited love was a theme that ran thru the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther actually made suicide fashionable. Franz Schubert's Lieder was ripe with failed love. Anderson's heartache was very much of its time.

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Freggle11 August 01 2014 at 2:30 PM

Poor guy... makes me wanna cry. His words about his soul are beautiful.

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