"The Flying Trunk" (Danish: Den flyvende Kuffert) is a literary fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young man who has a flying trunk that carries him to Turkey where he visits the Sultan's daughter. The tale was first published 1839.

The Flying Trunk
Vilhelm Pedersen illustration
AuthorHans Christian Andersen
Original titleDen flyvende Kuffert
SeriesFairy Tales Told for Children. New Collection. Second Booklet (Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Ny Samling. Andet Hefte)
GenreLiterary fairy tale
PublisherC.A. Reitzel
Publication date
19 October 1839
Publication placeDenmark
Media typePrint

Plot summary


A young man squanders his inheritance until he has nothing left but a few shillings, a pair of slippers, and an old dressing-gown. A friend sends him a trunk with directions to pack up and be off. Having nothing to pack, he gets into the trunk himself. The trunk is enchanted and carries him to the land of the Turks. He uses the trunk to visit the sultan's daughter, who is kept in a tower because of a prophecy that her marriage would be unhappy.



English poet Julia Pardoe, on her introduction to The Thousand and One Days, a compilation of Middle Eastern folktales, remarked that its tale The Story of the Princess Schirine was "the groundwork" of Andersen's tale.[1]


  • In 2014, a musical theatre adaptation of "The Flying Trunk" by Bobby Sample (book, lyrics, and music), with music by Josh Hontz, Katie Sample, and Connor Sample, debuted at Spotlight Youth Theatre of Glendale, Arizona.[2] This adaptation won the 2014 National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding New Musical.[3]

See also



  1. ^ Pardoe, Julia. The Thousand and One Days: A Companion to the "Arabian Nights". London: William Lay. 1857. p. vii (footnote nr. 1).
  2. ^ "Spotlight Youth Theatre: The Flying Trunk". Archived from the original on 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
  3. ^ "National Youth Arts - ArtsDig - Resource for youth arts". www.nationalyouththeatre.com.