Andersen's earliest tales were published without illustrations, but in 1849, his popularity was growing and a new, five volume collection of his tales was published with 125 illustrations by Pedersen, a young naval officer. The Pedersen illustrations found favor with the author, and, in Denmark today, are considered inseparable from the fairy tales in the same way that the John Tenniel illustrations are for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland or Quentin Blake illustrations are for Roald Dahl's children's books .
Woodcuts from Pedersen's drawings were first produced for a German edition of the tales published by Carl B. Lorck in Leipzig. Andersen's Danish publisher, C.A. Reitzel, paid Lorck for the rights to the Pedersen illustrations.