Publisher's original gift binding bound in full dark brown morocco, elaborately gilt-stamped on covers and spines. (Adds list cost of Only a Fiddler for 5s. for cloth and 9s. for morocco). Half titles in red, blue, green and gold. All edges gilt. Previous owner's signatures on front free endpaper of vol. 1. A fine set.
Only a Fiddler is a romantic tale and may be semi autobiographical, the character Christian most likely representing Hans himself. His love interest is a Jewish girl named Naomi. Unlike most fairy tales, this one does not end up with a happy ending. Naomi and Christian never end up together, sharing only the feeling of emptiness.
Soren Kierkegaard, (Andersen's neighbor at the time) reviewed Only a Fiddler and writes that Andersen "completely lacks any philosophy of life".
HBS # 67501 $1,500