Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Thorny Road of Honour

The Thorny Road of Honour The Thorny Road of Honour

The great people of history have all walked a thorny path. While they were praised, they were also despised. Years later when people would recognize their brilliance and bravery, it would be too late because some of them would already be dead by the hands of those who did not understand. These people include Joan of Arc, Tycho Brahe, Socrates, Homer, and many more. They were brilliant, but not always welcomed by humanity.


I can’t give a very good summary of this story because it’s more like a piece of poetry that lends itself to not being summarized. The above is the best I can do without sitting and thinking over it forever. Hans loved to praise people he thought were smart. He’s mentioned Homer multiple times. He’s mentioned Tycho Brahe before. If there is someone Hans likes, you’re going to know about it, because he’s going to write a poem about them.


Hans is absolutely right about this. I may not have the gushing respect for these people that Hans did, but he is right. These people were brilliant. They were amazing, but they also led hard lives. Joan of Arc was killed; that’s pretty sad. There were amazing scientists who were killed for their discoveries. There were brilliant minds that had to endure so many ills to bring their new truth to the world. Without many of these people, our lives would be less rich and less informed, but at the time people just thought they were crazy.

Just remember, remember not to give that nerdy kid such a hard time. Sure, he may be weird, but maybe he’s going to invent teleportation.


Hans, I like that you think smart people are great.

Weigh In

Do you think we give those people on the “edge” too much of a hard time?

Do you think attitudes have changed towards invention and discovery since Hans’ day?


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