From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:


A visit from Brahms
A Journey to Switzerland
A Visit to Portugal and Dryaden (The Wood Nymph)

1868: A visit from Brahms

15 January

Mrs Ingemann dies ("that delightful and to me forever young woman", the diary, 16th).
At the Melchiors', HCA see slides (diapositives) being projected for the first time.

16 February

Attends a dinner at the Carlsberg Mansion (along with Rasmus Nielsen), hosted by the brewer J.C. Jacobsen:

"it was like a wealthy country home abroad", there is "machinery to hoist the food. Gas in the stoves and wax candles in the lamps" (the diary, same day). J.C. Jacobsen "proposed a well worded toast to me first; his admiration for the poet and 'he was fascinated by my human qualities'" (same place).

12 March

First note in the diary mentioning contact with Georg Brandes (a conversation at the theatre). Brandes would later be a very influential critic and literary historian, not least as the initiator of the modern breakthrough in Danish literature.

13 March

Horace Scudder writes to HCA proposing that he become a permanent contributor to Scudder's The Riverside Magazine for Young People. He offers HCA a fee of 500 dollars for 12 new stories. This business association with Scudder would result in a total of 2,200 dollars in earnings for HCA in the period until 1875.

17 March

Attends a concert where Johannes Brahms plays the piano, accompanied by the singer Julius Stockhausen.

"The piano music was too dry and bland for my taste, however fine it may have been in quality and presentation"
(the diary, same day).

Brahms and Stockhausen visit HCA, and on 23rd he accompanies them to a dinner held by the actor Lauritz Eckardt. Here, HCA declines to read fairy-tales aloud in German, what with 1864 still being fresh in his memory. He later hears that Brahms has caused a scandal by defending Bismarck.

2 April

On his birthday he receives, amongst other things, an oil-painting from Elisabeth Jerichau- Baumann. It features a mermaid lifting herself out of the water.

20 April

Sees Georg Brandes at a dinner at the Collins'.

21st - 26th April

Is in Odense, where he reads aloud at a benefit held for The Frederik VII Foundation for poor craftsmen and their widows. HCA thereby obliges a request made during an earlier visit to Odense on 6th September 1866, when a shoe-maker named Gredsted had approached him on behalf of this foundation.
The readings on 23rd and 24th take place at Larsen's Hotel and a total of 220 rdl. is raised.. The tickets cost 3 mark, and there are thus 220 paying guests on both evenings.
HCA mentions the first evening in his diary on 23rd:

"two farmers had walked [approx.18 km] to hear me. They had read The Improvisatore and now had to walk the same distance back again. I sent both of them my card, as I did not see them".

On 24th, in recognition of HCA, the theatre performs his play Den ny Barselstue (The New Lying-in Room) . On 25th he visits The Frederik VII foundation (charitable institution) and notes in the diary:

"The royal standard had been hoisted; I saw the living quarters, ordinarily two rooms for each; it was cosy and very clean. Living there would not be bad. They all thanked me so sincerely and I spoke to one woman who had suffered from arthritis for 15 years. One old man named Larsen, about eighty, told me his wife [Frederika, nee Pommer] had carried me at my christening [...] The different rooms were named after the benefactors. Gredsted said that my name would now also be added. I promised to read again in the future, to raise more money".

1868: A Journey to Switzerland

26 April

Departs from Odense, travelling via Fredericia, Hamburg, Minden, across the Dutch border to Arnhem and on to Amsterdam.

30th April - 7th May

Staying in Amsterdam with Georg Brandt. Visits Director of Public Prosecutions Jacob van Lennep, who is also a poet. Spends time with the translator ten Kate, who reads aloud for HCA his versified translation of "Verdens deiligste Rose" (The World's Loveliest Rose), as well as the prose translation of "Pigen som traadte på Brødet" (The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf).

7 May

On to Belgium: Antwerpen and Gent.

11th - 19th May

In Paris, where Einar Drewsen welcomes him. Sees Fröhlich, who is not pleased with the reception of his illustrations for HCA's fairy-tales. Works on "Dryaden" (The Wood Nymph).
Accompanies Einar Drewsen to a brothel,

"where I, however, merely sat and talked to Fernanda, the little Turkish girl, while E amused himself. She was the prettiest, really. We spoke about Constantinople, her home town, and about the illumination there on Mohamed's birthday. She was very eager "pour fair l'amour", but I said I was there just to talk, nothing else. Come soon she said, but not tomorrow as that is my day off. Poor woman".
(the diary, 17th).

19 May

Departure from Paris, headed for Switzerland; travels via Dijon, Neuchâtel and Lausanne to Genève, where he is greeted by Alfred, son of Jules Jürgensen, and lodged at Jürgensen's country home overlooking Lake Genfer.

19 May

The play Mulatten (The Mulatto) is transferred to the Casino theatre, where it is performed 10 times during the remainder of HCA's life.

23rd May - 1st June

Staying with Jules Jürgensen. Trip to Nyon.

1 June

Takes the steam-ship l'Aigle to Ouchy.

3 June

Travels by bus to Bern, where he visits the vicar Carl Baggesen, son of Jens Baggesen. Continues via Basel to Baden-Baden in Germany. From here, on to Darmstadt (for the first time) and Ems.

7th - 13th June

In Ems (where music by the Danish composer Lumbye is played at several public performances attended by HCA).

12 June

Horace Scudder sends HCA a letter expressing his intention to publish "a complete and authorized edition of your works". When negotiating terms for this American launch, HCA makes the precondition that this intended "complete" edition contain Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) as an introduction. HCA does not want Scudder to make do with a reprint of The True Story of My Life (i.e. Mary Howitt's translation of the German autobiography from 1847). HCA promises Scudder to update the biography - i.e. to include events up until the honorary citizen celebration in 1867 - and immediately embarks upon this task. He is able to post the final section of the finished manuscript on 4th June 1869.

13 June

Departure from Ems, via Cologne and Hannover to Hamburg (is here from 15th - 17th June and receives a visit from Otto Speckter, who is to illustrate some of HCA's more recent fairy-tales and stories for an English edition).

17th June - 2nd July

In Altona, staying with the banker John Warburg, who he had met in September 1866 at the Melchior home.

2 July

Departure from Altona, travelling via Fredericia-Strib to Odense. Stays with Bishop Engelstoft (2nd - 4th July).

1868: A Visit to Portugal and Dryaden (The Wood Nymph)

4 July

Arrival in Copenhagen. Lodges with the Melchior family. Receives by post a Russian translation of his fairy-tales. The author, Johannes Kneppelhout, is in Copenhagen with his family. Goes on an outing to Hellebæk (the Collins'), also to Elsinore and Frederiksborg Castle (28th). There are also trips to Bellevue and Klampenborg. On 2nd August, HCA goes to:

"the deer forest for the poor people; there was dancing and swings; people sat in the summer houses and ate their packed food"
(the diary).

10 August

Off to Holsteinborg.

16 August

To Korsør. Leaves for Århus on the next day.

17th - 30th August

At Friisenborg. Carl Bloch is also there to paint. HCA suffers a great deal from a sore on his leg at this time.

31 August

Returns to Copenhagen.

14 September

Goes to see the Melchior family at Rolighed. Corresponds with Anton Nielsen, a school teacher and writer (HCA calls him the peoples' writer).

28 September

Returns to his lodgings in Copenhagen. Receives a visit from Anna Bjerring. Allows himself to be badgered into visiting her in turn, in the Vesterbro area of Copenhagen, in spite of problems with the leg. Sees the Kneppelhout family once again, when they return from Sweden.

22 October

Attends a celebration which marks the 40th anniversary of his graduation from college.

28 October

Receives a visit from Georg Brandes, who - according to HCA - is very enthusiastic about "Dryaden" (The Wood Nymph), which HCA reads aloud for him.

2 November

Sees Brandes once more at a dinner held by Edvard Collin, a "youthful gathering", as described in the diary on the same day. Also present are e.g. the owner of Rungstedlund, Harald David and his wife Caroline, who would later leave her marriage, influenced by Georg Brandes.

8 November

Reads aloud at the Servants' Association (for the "sewing maids").

19 November

Release of "Et Besøg i Portugal 1866" (A Visit to Portugal 1866) in volume 28 of Samlede Skrifter (Reiseskizzer og Pennetegninger) (Collected Works (Travel Sketches and Drawings in Ink).

5 December

Individual release of Dryaden.. Et Eventyr fra Udstillingstiden i Paris 1867 (The Wood Nymph. A Tale from the World Exhibition in Paris 1867).

15 December

Second edition of Dryaden is released. Of the total number of 6,000 copies, Reitzel the publisher has only 500 left on 23rd.

22 December

Reads aloud at The Danish Society. Cuts and pastes a picture-book for Marie Henriques at this time.

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