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  1. The Ice Virgin

    HCA is one of my favourite authors and has been since I was a child and had them read to me. Difficult to choose a favourite but The Snow Queen is a standout tale, as is the very much lesser known The Sandman. Indeed I was put to bed with the words 'the sandman's coming' ringing in my ears. *wistful sigh* Imagine my surprise to find out that he wrote for grown ups (the word adult has too many porn associations with it for my liking) and The Ice Virgin is one. It's very short, only 73 pages long and can be read in one sitting. Written in 1862 it's the story of a young boy, called Rudy, who grows to a man and seeks to marry the younger woman he falls in love with, the miller's daughter. It's set in Switzerland and the descriptions of the scenery are breath-taking. Andersen moves into fairy tale mode when describing the Ice Virgin but not for long and if fits with in with the story. I don't want to say any more for fear of revealing the plot but I will say that it's a great story, well written and I highly recommend it.
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