Mirrored Minds: Søren Kierkegaard and Hans Christian Andersen

By Kate Ashton

Ashton explores Anderson and Kierkegaard’s relationships, literary outputs, and personal struggles in all their nuanced and dramatic detail.

ISBN: 9780718897512


In her unique dual biography, Kate Ashton delineates the parallel lives of Hans Christian Anderson and Søren Kierkegaard, their personal relationship, literary careers, and lasting cultural influence on the western and wider world. These two towering literary geniuses followed radically divergent paths, and yet each read and reacted to the immense power and depth of the other’s growing oeuvre as it refracted their own. Against the backdrop of the end of Golden Age Denmark within a warring Europe, and the spiritual and sexual repression of Reformed Christianity, each suffered the fate of the prophet unhonoured in his hometown of Copenhagen.

Tracing their lives from childhood trauma to tragic love affairs and anguished isolation, Ashton illuminates counteractive response to experience: one an inward search for truth and self-knowledge, the other flight into distraction and fantasy. Mirrored Minds offers the reader an opportunity to explore each author and his legacy within the context of the other, just as their long-standing association held up a mirror for Anderson and Kierkegaard themselves.

Additional information

Illustrations 30 b&w

Trade Information LGENPOD

About the Author

Kate Ashton is a writer and translator. Having begun her editorial career with Nursing Times in the 1970s, she has since published full-length fiction and non-fiction, and poetry. She lived in the Netherlands for twenty-five years, working as corrector and translator on English-language texts including for business-to-business magazines, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the Frisian Academy. Since returning to Scotland in 2003, she reads, reviews, and translates from Dutch and Frisian.