The Red Shoes" (Danish: De røde sko) is a fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen first published by C.A. Reitzel in Copenhagen 7 April 1845 in New Fairy Tales. First Volume. Third Collection. 1845. (Nye Eventyr. Første Bind. Tredie Samling. 1845.). Other tales in the volume include "
The Elf Mound" (Elverhøi), "
The Jumpers" (Springfyrene), "
The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep" (Hyrdinden og Skorstensfejeren), and "
Holger Danske" (Holger Danske).
The tale was republished 18 December 1849 as a part of Fairy Tales. 1850. (Eventyr. 1850.) and again on 30 March 1863 as a part of Fairy Tales and Stories. Second Volume. 1863. (Eventyr og Historier. Andet Bind. 1863.). The story is about a girl forced to dance continually in her red shoes. "
The Red Shoes" has seen adaptations in various media including film...
A peasant girl named Karen is adopted by a rich old lady after her mother's death and grows up vain and spoiled. Before her adoption, Karen had a rough pair of red shoes; now she has her adoptive mother buy her a pair of red shoes fit for a princess. Karen is so enamored of her new shoes that she wears them to church, but the old lady scolds her: it's highly improper and she must only wear black shoes in church from now on. But next Sunday, Karen cannot resist the urge to put the red shoes on again. As she is about to enter the church, she meets a mysterious old soldier with a red beard. "
Oh, what beautiful shoes for dancing," the soldier says. "
Never come off when you dance," he tells the shoes, and he taps the sole of each with his hand...