A FAIRYTALE FOUND at the bottom of a box in Denmark’s National Archives is believed to be one of Hans Christian Andersen’s first.
Experts believe ‘The Tallow Candle’ was written in 1823, when he was 18-years-old.
The six-page, handwritten story is about a lonesome candle that after meeting with a tinderbox, lit up and found the right place in life.
It was found by retired historian Esben Brage while searching through archive boxes that had belonged to wealthy families from Andersen’s home town of Odense in central Denmark.
The story was dedicated to a vicar’s widow named Bunkeflod, who had lived across from Andersen’s home. He would read to her and borrow books from her, even after he moved to Copenhagen to attend university.
Andersen, who was born to a cleaning lady and a shoemaker, wrote close to 160 fairy tales, concluding, ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Little Mermaid.
Additional reporting AP