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1001 Stories Collection

The Little Mermaid

1001 little mermaid
Added on 08th August 2020

Author Hans Christian Andersen
First published 1837
Publisher C A Reitzel, Copenhagen, Denmark

The classi story of the little mermaid who falls in love with a prince.

Story

When the Little Mermaid spies a handsome prince on board a ship, she falls madly in love. Desperate to join him on the land, the mermaid visits the Sea Witch, who gives her a pair of legs in return for her beautiful voice. But unless she can convince the prince to return her love, the Little Mermaid will melt into sea foam.

Why we chose it

People have long been fascinated by stories about mermaids. This is one of the best known, told by a master storyteller.

Where it came from

Danish author, Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875), wrote The Little Mermaid after hearing his friend Edvard Collin was getting married. Anderson had strong romantic feelings for Edvard and was moved to write about this unrequited love. Anderson was also inspired by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s novella, Undine (1811), which tells the story of a water spirit who marries a knight to gain a human soul.

Where it went next

The Little Mermaid was first published as part of a collection of children’s fairy tales in 1837. However, it wasn’t until an English translation appeared in the magazine Bentley’s Miscellany in 1845 that the story really took off. Since then, it has inspired countless adaptations, from ballets and plays to graphic novels and anime. In 1989, Walt Disney Pictures released an animated feature film which won two Academy Awards and was followed by various sequels, spin-offs and musical adaptations.

Associated stories

Anderson wrote over 100 fairy tales during his life. Other notable stories include The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, and The Snow Queen.

Numerous stories have been based on The Little Mermaid, including Ponyo (2008), a Studio Ghibli animation directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and The Surface Breaks (2018), a young adult interpretation by Louise O’Neill.

Added on 08th August 2020

Author Hans Christian Andersen
First published 1837
Publisher C A Reitzel, Copenhagen, Denmark