From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
1865New Version of Ravnen (The Raven)
2 April 1865
HCA's 60th birthday is celebrated and he is overwhelmed by a shower of greetings and gifts. HCA is especially pleased to receive a telegram from Mrs Serre in Dresden, in light of the fact that he himself had cut off all connections with Germany in 1864.
The day is rounded off with a large dinner held by the Henriques family. Amongst the guests are the Melchiors. In the evening, HCA goes to the theatre (to hear the opera Lucia de Lammermoor , but the programme is changed to Gounod's Faust).
This day actually began with HCA depressed:
"Was not satisfied with myself when I awoke; I felt no festive thankfulness towards God, as I should have"
but all the attention and praise during the day does lift his spirits. Even at 10 pm, when HCA returns home from the theatre, the day ends on a pleasant note: a telegram has arrived from some admirers in the town of Hobro, who had gathered for a drink in his honour.
Receives a visit from Edvard Grieg - whose music he had heard for the first time two days earlier and had found to be "the most important" (the diary) out of the whole evening's music programme. Grieg brings HCA his music written for "Melodies of the Heart", dedicated to him.
During an evening of music hosted by the queen dowager, HCA is informed that his fairy-tales have been translated to and released in Sanskrit.
Full house at the Royal Theatre for the premiere of Da Spanierne var her. Originalt romantisk Lystspil i tre Acter (When the Spaniards Were Here. Original Romantic Comedy in Three Acts) . The royal family is present for the premiere. The play is performed 7 times.
A new version is released of The Raven. Fairy-tale Opera in Four Acts with music by J.P.E. Hartmann. The earlier version (from 1832) was a ballad opera in three acts with dialogue. In the new version, recitatives replace the dialogue, and both text and music have been revised by the author and the composer.
First performance of the new version of The Raven at the Royal Theatre. It is not a success. This and the earlier version are performed 10 times in total during HCA's life.
Release of When the Spaniards Were Here in book form.
8th - 16th May
Daily visits to Anna Bjerring and her mother, who are in Copenhagen at this time.
Is invited to Lisbon to visit George O'Neill (Portuguese merchant and Danish consular general in Lisbon).
At a dinner held by Edvard Collin (main course: peas and pork), HCA meets the painter Carl Bloch, who requests permission to paint a large portrait of HCA in the following year.
Off to Basnæs Estate. At the railway station, Anna Bjerring pays her respects to HCA, bidding him farewell with a bouquet of flowers.
During the stay at Basnæs, HCA is engrossed in reading Werke by Heines:
"Very few volumes might, in my opinion, be read to a lady; Heine is like a fine display of fireworks; it finishes and one is left standing in the darkest of night. He is a witty gossip, ungodly and of easy virtue, and yet he is a true poet; his books are elf-maids in flower and silk, swarming with passion, so that one can not allow them to move freely around in a sitting room filled with fully clothed people"
(Letter dated 31st May to Edvard Collin).
Departure from Basnæs, aboard the steamship Skirmer from Korsør to Århus (aboard is also Ernst von der Recke, who often reads his poetry out loud for HCA in Copenhagen). Arrives at Friisenborg on the same day. Here he meets Wilhelm Dinesen, the father of Karen Blixen (nom de plume; Isaac Dinesen), who is amongst the house guests at the estate.
Several photographs of HCA are taken during this visit to Friisenborg, e.g. one where he is standing holding a letter from Anna Bjerring.
Does 24 cut-outs for a lampshade similar to the one he had made at Holsteinborg Estate.
Departure from Friisenborg. Via Randers to the vicarage in Hem, where HCA stays with Pastor Ole Christian Kahrs, who is married to a daughter of Joh. Ferd. Neergaard.