The Recollections of Sir Henry Dickens, K.C.
London, William Heinemann Ltd., Windmill Press, Kingswood, Surrey. 1934. Pp: 34-35: Chapter VI: "A Visit of Hans Christian Andersen" June 1857.
Among the distinguished visitors to Gad's Hill was that delightful and deservedly popular humorist, Hans Christian Andersen, whose children's stories such as "The Ugly Duckling," The Tin Soldier," and many others have given pleasure, and still give pleasure to many thousands of people, both young and old. My father thought very highly of his literary work, and on his invitation he came to Gad's Hill for a short visit in June, 1857. He turned out to be lovable and yet a somewhat uncommon and strange personality. His manner was delightfully simple, such as one rather expected from the delicacy of his work. He was necessarily very interesting, but he was certainly somewhat of an "oddity." In person, tall, gaunt, rather ungainly, in manner, thoughtful and agreeable. He had one really beautiful accomplishment, which was the cutting out in paper, with an ordinary pair af scissors, of lovely little figures of sprites and elves, gnomes, fairies and animals of all kinds which might well have stepped out of the pages of his books. These figures turned out to be quite delightful in their refinement and delicacy in design and touch. Much as there was in him to like and to adrnire, he was, an the other hand, most decidedly disconcerting in his general mariner, for he used constantly to be doing things quite unconsciously, which might almost be called "gauche": so much so that I am afraid the small boys in the family rather laughed at him behind his back; but, so far as the members of the family were concerned, he was treated with the utmost consideration and courtesy. an the first morning after his arrival, for instance, he sent for my eldest brother to shave him, to the intense indignation of the boys; and with the result that he was afterwards driven every morning to the barber's at Rochester to get the necessary shave. At dinner time, on the same day, he greatly embarrassed my father, who was offering his arm to a lady to take her into dinner, by suddenly seizing his hand, putting it into his own bosom and leading him triumphantly into the dining-room. Wilkie Collins was at Gad's Hill at the time and the hat which he wore was a very large wide-awake. Andersen one day, quite unknown to Wilkie, surreptitiously crowned this hat with a large garland af daisies, a fact af which full advantage was taken by the mischievous boys of the family. With apparent innocence, they suggested to Wilkie a walk through the village. To this Wilkie, quite unconscious of his garland, willingly assented; but he must have been somewhat surprised, I think, at the amount of merriment which his presence seerned to arouse in the minds of the villagers who passed us on our way.
(Bibliografisk kilde: Bredsdorff)
(Bibliografisk kilde: HCAH)