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Unknown Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale found

Never-before-seen story turns up in Danish archive

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Dec 14, 2012 6:18PM

Once upon a time, there was a Danish author who wrote stories like The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina. He wrote nearly 160 fanciful tales that set flight to young minds. Nearly 200 years after Hans Christian Andersen penned his first story, what is believed to be a previously unknown fairy tale by the author was discovered in a Danish archive, reports WIVB.com.

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The hand-written text, titled The Tallow Candle (Danish Tællelyset), was found in the author’s hometown of Odense, Denmark. The six-page story is about a candle who did not feel appreciated. It was written while Andersen was still in school and dedicated to a benefactor, in whose family's possession it remained until it turned up among other family papers in a suitcase in a local archive.

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Andersen expert Ejnar Stig Askgaard was quoted saying that this is likely one of Andersen's earliest works, written seven years before Andersen's official debut.

What is your favorite Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale?

Photo: Martin Bubandt/POLFOTO/AP

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