The Ugly Duckling: A Secret Biography

The Ugly Duckling is one of Hans Chrisitian Andersen’s most celebrated tales, and is always imparted to children all over the world. However, just what were the circumstances that led to its writing?

Hans Christian Andersen was a tall, lanky boy in his younger years. He had rather large feet, a big nose, and was of gentle temperament. He soon developed a burning desire for Theater, as well as to sing on stage. His teachers encouraged him, as he had a strong, clear soprano voice, but he was brutally teased by his peers and classmates. Could this have been the root of his idea for The Ugly Duckling?

Historians say there is more to this tale than a case of bullying. It has been put forward that there is a strong possibility that Andersen had royal blood flowing in his veins. Speculation suggests that the world-famous author was the illegitimate son of King Christian VII of Denmark, who at the time was still Prince Christian Frederik. Hans Christian Andersen had knowledge of this before he wrote The Ugly Duckling, so it’s actually quite possible that the cygnet mistook as a duckling turning into a swan could very well possibly be a metaphor not just for inner beauty or hidden talent, but also for his personal longing for royal lineage.

Whatever the story behind the penning of The Ugly Duckling, it bears an important message Andersen knew quite well that every needs to hear – no matter how rough the circumstances one I in, the best thing anyone can do is to keep one’s chin up, and carry on. It gets better in the end.

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