In A Nutshell
Hans Christian Andersen is one of the most important writers who ever lived. Without him we’d have no Thumbelina, no one would have heard of the Red Shoes and about 80 percent of Disney’s back catalog would be missing. He redefined written Danish and published some of the most successful children’s stories ever written . . . all while being a lonely bisexual pervert who kept a detailed diary of his self-pleasure.
The Whole Bushel
Like Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen is one of those writers just about everyone has heard of. Over the course of a glittering literary career he gave the world The Little Mermaid, re-wrote the rule book on children’s stories, and became Denmark’s unofficial poet in chief. Today he’s remembered as an odd, melancholy man who refused to marry in order to stay pure. It’s a nice idea, but sadly it couldn’t be further from the truth. By all accounts (including his own), Andersen was a raging, lunatic pervert.
For one thing, he used to keep a diary in which he described, in glorious detail, whenever he masturbated—using a “+” symbol to denote a particularly good one. And Andersen masturbated a lot. After receiving visitors, he’d frequently nip upstairs to get a little DIY in, picturing his unsuspecting caller. For another, he used to visit brothels in Copenhagen where he’d simply chat to the prostitutes before running home to finish himself off (all described in delightful detail in his diary).
Nor did Andersen regulate his desires to one gender. It’s widely accepted he was bisexual, with an unfortunate twist. Although he enjoyed adult women, Andersen was particularly enthralled by young boys. During his stay with Charles Dickens in 1857, he requested to be shaved by one of Dickens’ young sons every morning, a request the British author grumpily turned down. It’s said he spent his life filled with “tortuous unrequited sexual yearnings” for young men, yearnings he possibly had to alleviate with a pornography addiction. For all he may have written some of the most incredible stories ever recorded, it turns out that Hans Christian Andersen was simply one perverted guy.