1875Criticism of The Intended Statue
Death of HCA
Is appointed Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog, first rank.
HCA is paid tribute from near and far on his birthday. In Odense a commemorative plaque is laid in the wall of his childhood home. The evening is spent with the Melchiors. HCA has a hard time managing this and the visits made in the next few days. He feels exhausted after the evening at the Melchiors'. To mark his birthday, the Royal Theatre perform the play Den ny Barselstue (The New Lying-in Room) and the opera Liden Kirsten (Little Kirsten).
Release of Hans Christian Andersen Historien om en Moder i Femten Sprog udgiven af Jean Pio og Vilh. Thomsen (Hans Christian Andersen The Story of a Mother in Fifteen Languages edited by Jean Pio and Vilh. Thomsen London Kjøbenhavn Leipzig Williams & Norgate C.A. Reitzel F.A. Brockhaus Sortiment Trykt hos Bianco Luno (Printed by Bianco Luno) (price; 3 Dkr.). The book has a title page in Danish as well as in English. The languages apart from Danish are: Swedish, Icelandic, German, Low German, Dutch, English, French, Spanish, New Greek, Russian, Polish, Bohemian, Hungarian and Finnish.
The poem "Mit Barndoms Hjem" (My Childhood Home) is printed in the newspaper "Søndags-Posten, illustreret Ugeblad til Nytte og Fornøielse for alle Stænder" (The Sunday-Post, Illustrated Weekly Journal For the Benefit and Enjoyment Of All Classes). A picture of the childhood home is included.
Receives a copy of the London newspaper the Evening News, which claims that he is the most widely read of all living writers, and that the fairy-tales;
"...deserve a place in the pantheon where Homer and Shakespeare live forever"
(diary, same day).
The Duke of Sachsen-Weimar sends HCA the Order of Commander (Komthur) of The White Falcon.
Goes to the Royal Theatre for the last time (sees a dress rehearsal of a ballet by Bournonville)
Sees the sketch for his statue and likes the one by Otto Evens but not the one by A.V. Saabye.
Attends the celebration to mark the 70th birthday of J.P.E. Hartmann.
Decides to travel to Menton and stay there for the winter. However, in the next few days he feels so ill that Johan Krohn must overnight in his sitting room, so as to assist him. During this long period of illness he takes morphine almost daily ("morphine juice").
29 May 1875
Receives a visit from the sculptor A.V. Saabye,
"...whose sketch I can not abide, as it reminds me of old Socrates and the young Alcibades" [!].
Refuses to sit for him or speak to him. Through the painter Jørgen Roed, HCA raises an official complaint against Saabye and his group, not least due to;
"...that tall boy who is draped all the way up my leg"
(the diary, same day).
Is reassured on the following day by the painter F. Vermehren, who promises that the boy will be changed to a small child, to symbolise the childlike spirit.
Another visit from Saabye. This time HCA speaks to him personally, saying;
"...that I was not happy with his statue of me, that neither he nor any of the other sculptors knew me, had not seen me read, and that I could not abide people standing behind me and did not have children on my back, lap or leg; that my fairy-tales were just as much for adults as for children, who only understood the ornamental trappings, but only as mature adults can they see and perceive the contents. That the naive was only one part of my fairy-tales, that humour was the actual zest in them"
(diary, same day).
Had planned to go to Bregentved Estate, but the stay there is cancelled as Frederik Moltke- Bregentved is made Minister of Foreign Affairs in Estrup's new government.
Is collected and taken to the Melchior family at Rolighed.
The Poem "Tunge Timer" (Difficult Hours) is printed in the magazine Illustreret Tidende.
The last entry in the diary which is made by HCA himself. After this he dictates entries for the diary to Dorothea Melchior or one of her daughters, Harriet and Louise