20 Honest and Magical Life Lessons from Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Happy birthday to Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, who is best known for his fairy tales like The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Ugly Duckling. “In Denmark they mention Andersen in the same breath as Shakespeare and Goethe, and not without reason,” writes The Independent. “Unlike the brothers Grimm who were merely collectors of folk tales, the majority of Andersen’s 156 tales were entirely of his own invention.” The influential writer’s stories contained a healthy balance of dark and light subjects, and offer important life lessons.