Noel Daniel (editor) & Jean Hersholt (translator)
Last year, as part of the Brothers Grimm’s bicentenary anniversary, I reviewed the most sumptuous fairy-tale Grimm collection, The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, published by Taschen. They have now released a similar tome devoted to Hans Christian’s Andersen’s most famous tales, and it is just as exquisite. This collection brings together 23 tales from the most famous including Thumbelina,The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Match Girl and The Snow Queen to possibly lesser known tales such as The Flea and the Professor and The Flying Trunk.
What makes this collection so special is how visually stunning it really is. Each tale is adorned by vintage illustrations dating from the 1840s to the 1980s and include luminaries such as Arthur Rackham and Mabel Lucie Attwell as well as previously undiscovered drawings from across the world. Such a variety in illustration is truly amazing, showcasing how differently tales are interpreted across the decades and the oceans.
Once again, British illustrator Laura Barrett was commissioned to create beautiful silhouettes which can be found throughout the book, embellishing each title page and endpapers, using elegant gold paper.
As well as the tales, there is extensive information including Andersen’s legacy and background to each tale.
This makes The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen a volume who will charm many different audiences. Whether it is for a child, a fan of illustration, a fan of vintage art, someone studying fairy-tales or simply an admirer of beautiful books, this will make a truly exquisite gift.
Source: review copy from publisher
What is the text like? Are they new versions/translations? I’m looking for an Andersen collection to read having just finished Pullman’s Grimms tales.
The translation is from the 1940s so no not a new translation, but it is very readable. It won’t be as “literary” as Pullman, but it is quite adult-friendly. It is certainly not a book for very young children. There is more info on Taschen’s website here