2005 is the bicentenary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth. His stories have timeless themes - love, death, coming to terms with all that life offers. This collection of ten stories weaves those essential themes of beauty and cruelty into contemporary takes on life. "e;The Steadfast Tin Solder"e; becomes "e;The Flames of Love"e;, "e;The Ugly Duckling"e; is retold as "e;Swan"e; and "e;The Emperor's New Clothes"e;, retold as "e;The King of Cool"e;, has new relevance as the story of a boy obsessed with branded clothing. All are memorable for the shock value of many of Andersen's most painful images: the shards of a broken mirror; the piercing of a broken heart. "e;The Swineherd"e; ("e;Princess), "e;The Snow Queen"e; ("e;The Shattered Mirror"e;), "e;The Wild Swans"e;("e;The Wild Swanns"e;), "e;The Princess and the Pea"e; ("e;Mother Knows Best"e;), "e;The Little Match Girl"e; ("e;A Little Flame"e;), "e;The Ugly Duckling"e; ("e;Swan) and "e;The Little Mermaid"e; ("e;Coming Up for Air"e;) are all also recast for the 21st century.