Saturday, September 26, 2015

Free Hans Christian Andersen online course

Reader Julia Mavroidi alerted me in the comments that there is a free online course available this fall on the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen! I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up the 4 hours a week it would take but I'm intrigued...has anyone taken classes through FutureLearn before? If any of you take this class, let me know what you think of it! More information here, it starts October 19 for only 6 weeks.


This free online course will introduce you to some of Hans Christian Andersen’s most popular fairy tales, share the story of the writer himself, and discuss his cross-cultural importance today, as the inspiration behind many popular books and movies.

Interpret Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales with experts from his birthplace

You will learn with experts from the HC Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark – an internationally renowned research institution located in the writer’s birthplace, Odense.
Each week, these experts will guide a discussion, analysis and interpretation of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, including:
  • The Tinderbox
  • The Travelling Companion
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Snow Queen (the inspiration for Disney’s Frozen)
  • The Story of a Mother
  • The Red Shoes
You will explore the themes of each story, and investigate how they both conform with and digress from the fairy tale. This genre became very popular in the period of literary history to which Hans Christian Andersen belongs, Romanticism, when childhood was discovered as an age that is important in its own right.
But what Hans Christian Andersen did with this genre is absolutely unique - there are no other writers of fairy tales like him.


You will need a basic ability to read and understand Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales in English. Otherwise, a curiosity about and a love for the fairy tale genre is the sole prerequisite for the course.


  1. I've taken courses with Future Learn before - normally if you sign up at the right time you have access to the materials after everything has technically finished. Obviously you get more out of things when you can participate with other students at the same time, but if the info is all you're after then it really doesn't hurt just to sign up and see what its all about :)

  2. I'd like to discuss a new book due out in November. It's called Frozen Fairy Tales. Could you contact me at I couldn't locate your contact info. Thanks!

  3. I have just started taking this course and so far, it is great! It is nice to find other people so interested in fairy tales. Thank you for posting the information about it. I hadn't ever heard about Future Learn before.

    1. That's great! I'd love to hear about what you learn! Glad someone was able to take the course!

    2. I'm logged on as Spike Deane, say hi in the comments section Anon-

    3. Hello Spike Deane! I just noticed your comments and am trying to find you. Kristin, this course is great in the material but even better in the discussions between other students. I normally shy away from making comments, I think I start having bad flashbacks to public speaking :) But I am totally loving this course as much as I do this blog.

  4. Hi Kristin, I'm doing the course too and really you can engage more or less as you wish. The course content will still be there and I think it is worth signing on. The discussions are fun. The Hans Christian Andersen centre have wonderful resources. The first week was quite introductory but this week has moved to more serious study. Ink Gypsy, Nike Sulway and Louisa John-Krol are also taking part (members of the Australian Fairy Tale Society) Hey Anonymous, look me up SpikeDeane in the comments and say hi.

    1. What kind of learning is it? Are there videos to watch, books/articles to read?