In Hans Christian Andersen in American Literary Criticism of the Nineteenth Century, Herbert Rowland argues that the literary criticism accompanying the publication of Hans Christian Andersen’s works in the United States compares favorably in scope, perceptiveness, and chronological coverage with the few other national receptions of Andersen outside of Denmark. Rowland contends that American commentators made it abundantly evident that, in addition to his fairy tales, Andersen wrote several novels, travelogues, and an autobiography which were all of more than common interest. In the process, Rowland shows that American commentators “naturalized” Andersen in the United States by confronting the sensationalism in the journalism and literature of the time with the perceived wholesomeness of Andersen’s writing, deploying his long fiction on both sides of the debate over the nature and relative value of the romance and the novel, and drawing on three of his works to support their positions on slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
Herbert Rowland is emeritus professor of German at Purdue University.
Chapter 1: The American Reception of Andersen in Statistical Overview
Chapter 2: The Novels
Chapter 3: The Travel Books
Chapter 4: The Poetry and the Plays
Chapter 5: The Autobiographies
Chapter 6: The Fairy Tales and Stories
Chapter 7: The Critical General Interest Articles