1805:
Hans Christian Andersen born in Odense on 2 April. Place of birth unknown. His father was a poor shoemaker and his mother a washerwoman. The family did not have a permanent address until 1807.

1812:
First visit to the theatre in Odense - the boy's fantasies begin to assume shape and direction.

1816:
Father dies of an illness he contracted when he enlisted as a soldier during the Napoleonic Wars in 1812-14. Mother re-marries in 1818.

1819:
A few months after his confirmation HCA travels alone to Copenhagen to try his luck at The Royal Theatre. Under extremely humble conditions he attempts during the following three years to gain a foothold at the theatre as a singer, dancer or actor. Influential people take care of him and arrange for him to get some education, as his schooling has been much neglected.

1822:
As a final, desperate measure, HCA hands in a couple of plays to the theatre. They are turned down, but the management want to soften the blow and arrange for him to go to a school in Slagelse. Theatre manager and financial deputy Jonas Collin becomes his guardian.

1826:
When the Slagelse principal, Simon Meisling, is moved to Elsinore Grammar School, HCA follows suit. Here he writes his famous poem 'The dying Child', under the influence of his highly problematic relationship to Meisling.

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