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Originally published Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 2:12 AM

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Danish historian finds unknown Andersen fairy tale

A Danish historian says he has discovered a copy of what is believed to be a previously unknown fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen.

The Associated Press

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark —

A Danish historian says he has discovered a copy of what is believed to be a previously unknown fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen.

Esben Brage says he found the six-page text in early October while searching in the National Archives through boxes that had belonged to wealthy families from Andersen's home-town of Odense in central Denmark.

The handwritten tale entitled "Tallow Candle," and dedicated to a widow who had lived across from Andersen, had been left seemingly untouched at the bottom of one of the boxes.

Andersen expert Ejnar Stig Askgaard said Thursday this is likely one of Andersen's earliest works, written seven years before his official debut.

Born in 1805, Andersen wrote nearly 160 fairy tales including "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Mermaid."

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