Julia Briggs


It was Hans Christian Andersen who reintroduced the English to fantasy and folklore, and in particular his own ironic versions of both. Although early translators sifted out much of his linguistic comedy and vitality, the stories and their structures persisted with all of their original force and altered the character writing for children in English. Children's writers from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries borrowed ideas and even tones of voice from Andersen. This article offers specific examples of Andersen’s impact on children’s writing, in what is often thought of as a peculiarly “English” tradition.