The Nightingale (Andersen)

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"The Nightingale"
Author Hans Christian Andersen
Country Denmark
Language Danish
Genre(s) Literary fairy tale
Published in New Fairy Tales (Nye Eventyr)
Publication type Fairy tale collection
Publisher C. A. Reitzel
Publication date 1844

"The Nightingale" is a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It was published in 1844 in Andersen's New Fairy Tales (Nye Eventyr) with "The Angel", "The Sweethearts", and "The Ugly Duckling". The critics liked these stories. Andersen's inspiration for "The Nightingale" was Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park with Chinese decorations in Copenhagen which opened in the summer of 1843. Another inspiration was Jenny Lind, a Swedish opera singer. Andersen was infatuated with her.[1] She was known as the "Swedish Nightingale". Andersen began writing the tale on 11 October 1843 and completed it within 24 hours.[2]

Story[change | edit source]

The nightingale is the best thing of all in the lands of the Emperor of China. The Emperor orders one brought to him. The bird charms him with her song. One day the Emperor of Japan sends the Emperor of China a mechanical bird decorated with jewels. The toy is wound up. Its song delights the Emperor. He neglects the real nightingale. She flies away to the forest. The toy bird breaks down. The Emperor becomes deathly ill. The nightingale returns to the palace. She sings and Death departs. The Emperor recovers.

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. Frank, pp. 139, 150-1
  2. Wullschlager, p. 230

References[change | edit source]

  • Frank, Diane Crone and Jeffrey. 2005. The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen. Duke UP. ISBN 0-8223-3493-6.
  • Wullschlager, Jackie. 2000. Hans Christian Andersen. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-45508-6.

Other websites[change | edit source]