Hans Christian Andersen
The first English language biographer to have returned to the original Danish sources, Wullshlager creates a fascinating picture of Andersen as a deeply troubled man, as far from Danny Kaye's all-singing version as it is possible to imagine. Desperately sensitive, sexually confused and socially awkward, Andersen found grace and acceptance through the creation of a distinct and beguiling literary world, becoming, as was once said of Tolkien, 'the creative equivalent of a people'. Wullschlager's achievement is to demonstrate the unity of his troubled life and and the soaring achievement of his work. He appears in this biography more various and more flawed, but also more convincing and more impressive, than ever before.