Jean Hersholt (1886-1956) was a Danish actor who emigrated to the United States, making himself a career in Hollywood as from 1913. He was an avid collector of Andersen editions, and among other things he translated Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and stories in the excellent edition The Complete Andersen (six volumes, New York 1949. Further information) - which you may now read on this web site.

By several people, Hersholt's Andersen-translation for the English languaged world is rated as the standard translation, being one of the best.

Hersholt felt deeply connected to Andersen's world and has approached the matter rather originally. As appears from the bibliographies on the Hans Christian Andersen literature, Hersholt wrote several articles on Andersen and he also edited The Andersen-Scudder-Letters in 1948.

The Complete Andersen includes first prints (they had never been printed in Danish, either) of no less than three fairy tales: Folks say .., The Poor Woman and the little Canary Bird, and Urbanus, the edition also includes The Pigs from the travel book In Sweden, the whole Picture Book without Pictures, which is often placed among the travel books, and the novel Lucky Peer which may also with all reason be called a fairy tale novel. Normally, Lucky Peer is ranged as a novel.

The list of works translated by Hersholt includes the original 156 printed in Andersens own time plus the fairy tales found in his papes - and published after his death: The Court Cards, Croak!, Danish Popular Legends, God can never die, The Penman, The Talisman, and This Fable is Intended for You".