A Tale Teller For Our Times

Poet Ruth Padel investigates why Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales still speak to us now and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

Episodes

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20050516

Ruth Padel explores the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

1/5. The Little Mermaid

The plaintive story of a mermaid who becomes human but loses her voice and walks in agony. Is the story an ode to love, a Christian message or a depiction of Andersen himself?

20050517

Ruth Padel explores the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

2/5. The Emperor's New Clothes

The story of the vain Emperor who is taken in by swindlers pretending to weave him a set of clothes has become a byword for the human condition. How much does it tell us of Andersen's own class struggle?

20050518

Ruth Padel explores the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

3/5. The Ugly Duckling

Always the odd one out and made to suffer for being different until he becomes a swan, the Ugly Duckling is said to mirror Andersen's view of himself. But is it a transformation that anyone can make, or are there hidden meanings to the story?

20050519

Ruth Padel explores the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

4/5. The Red Shoes

The iconic Powell/ Pressburger film brought parts of Andersen's story to a wide cinema audience but the tale itself is much less well known and far more disturbing. Why did Andersen display such a ruthlessly violent streak and what were his secret fears while writing it?

20050520

Ruth Padel explores the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

5/5. The Snow Queen

This tale with its sweeping narrative and cold figure of the Snow Queen is reckoned by many to be Andersen's masterpiece. What are the qualities which have given it such longevity, and is being frozen always such a bad thing?

20060918

Poet Ruth Padel investigates why Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales still speak to us now and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

1/5. The Little Mermaid

The story of a mermaid who becomes human but loses her voice and walks in agony - is it an ode to love, a Christian message or a depiction of Andersen himself?

Then News.

20060919

Poet Ruth Padel investigates why Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales still speak to us now and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

2/5. The Emperor's New Clothes

The story of the vain Emperor, who is taken in by swindlers pretending to weave him a set of clothes, has become a byword for the human condition. How much does it tell us of Andersen's own class struggle?

Then News.

20060920

Poet Ruth Padel investigates why Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales still speak to us now and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

3/5. The Ugly Duckling

Always the odd one out and made to suffer for being different until he becomes a swan, the Ugly Duckling is said to mirror Andersen's view of himself. But is it a transformation that anyone can make, or are there hidden meanings to the story?

Then News.

20060921

Poet Ruth Padel investigates why Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales still speak to us now and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

4/5. The Red Shoes

The iconic Powell/Pressburger film brought parts of Andersen's story to a wide cinema audience, but the tale itself is much less well known and far more disturbing. Why did Andersen display such a ruthlessly violent streak and what were his secret fears while writing it?

Then News.

20060922

Poet Ruth Padel investigates why Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales still speak to us now and what they tell us about the man who wrote them.

5/5. The Snow Queen

This tale with its sweeping narrative and cold figure of the Snow Queen is reckoned by many to be Andersen's masterpiece. What are the qualities which have given it such longevity - and is being frozen always such a bad thing?

Then News.

01The Little Mermaid2005051620060918

The plaintive story of a mermaid who becomes human but loses her voice and walks in agony.

Is the story an ode to love, a Christian message or a depiction of Andersen himself?

The story of a mermaid who becomes human but loses her voice and walks in agony - is it an ode to love, a Christian message or a depiction of Andersen himself?

01The Little Mermaid2005051620060918

The plaintive story of a mermaid who becomes human but loses her voice and walks in agony.

Is the story an ode to love, a Christian message or a depiction of Andersen himself?

The story of a mermaid who becomes human but loses her voice and walks in agony - is it an ode to love, a Christian message or a depiction of Andersen himself?

02The Emperor's New Clothes2005051720060919

The story of the vain Emperor who is taken in by swindlers pretending to weave him a set of clothes has become a byword for the human condition.

How much does it tell us of Andersen's own class struggle?

03The Ugly Duckling2005051820060920

Always the odd one out and made to suffer for being different until he becomes a swan, the Ugly Duckling is said to mirror Andersen's view of himself.

But is it a transformation that anyone can make, or are there hidden meanings to the story?

03The Ugly Duckling2005051820060920

Always the odd one out and made to suffer for being different until he becomes a swan, the Ugly Duckling is said to mirror Andersen's view of himself.

But is it a transformation that anyone can make, or are there hidden meanings to the story?

04The Red Shoes2005051920060921

The iconic Powell/ Pressburger film brought parts of Andersen's story to a wide cinema audience but the tale itself is much less well known and far more disturbing.

Why did Andersen display such a ruthlessly violent streak and what were his secret fears while writing it?

04The Red Shoes2005051920060921

The iconic Powell/ Pressburger film brought parts of Andersen's story to a wide cinema audience but the tale itself is much less well known and far more disturbing.

Why did Andersen display such a ruthlessly violent streak and what were his secret fears while writing it?

05The Snow Queen2005052020060922

This tale with its sweeping narrative and cold figure of the Snow Queen is reckoned by many to be Andersen's masterpiece.

What are the qualities which have given it such longevity, and is being frozen always such a bad thing?

05The Snow Queen2005052020060922

This tale with its sweeping narrative and cold figure of the Snow Queen is reckoned by many to be Andersen's masterpiece.

What are the qualities which have given it such longevity, and is being frozen always such a bad thing?