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Letter to the Editor: The Emperor’s New Clothes

Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Emperor’s New Clothes, a children’s story, in 1837.
This is the plot of his story:
Two swindlers arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible only to those who are stupid or incompetent. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and the emperor himself, visit them often to check their progress. They all see that the looms are empty but they all pretend otherwise to avoid being thought stupid or incompetent. Finally, the weavers report that the emperor’s suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear stupid or incompetent, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking even more proudly than ever.
This story rings very true today, 183 years later, and it just seems so relevant today.
Peter Skeels author/writer
Lake Almanor

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