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


Debut as walker-on
Tragedien Skovkapellet (The Forest Chapel - A Tragedy)

1821: Debut as walker-on

25 January

HCA has his actual debut as walker-on (plays a "musician" in Gleottis' ballet Nina). Is made a choir student with no regular payment. In one year he was able to earn a total of 25 rdl. for his services at the theatre. The actor F. Lindgreen gives him private lessons, but advises him to give up the dream of becoming an actor.

March (presumably)

At the suggestion of Høegh-Guldberg, HCA pays a visit to the newly appointed theatre director, Jonas Collin. But to no avail.

2 April

HCA sends a versified petition to Collin.

12 April

HCA's name appears on a playbill for the first time. He has a small part as a "troll" in the ballet Armida, composed by Carl Dahlén. On the same playbill, the name Johanne Luise Pätges (spelled Johanne Petcher) also appears for the first time. This is the later Johanne Luise Heiberg, for decades Denmark's most famed actress, who was married to the poet, critic and theatre director Johan Ludvig Heiberg. Like HCA, she too originated from the lower classes of society.

1821: Tragedien Skovkapellet (The Forest Chapel - A Tragedy)


HCA makes the acquaintance of Engelke Colbiørnsen, the widow of "Denmark's famous statesman" Chr. Colbiørnsen, and of her daughter, Maren Olivia, who was lady-in-waiting to King Frederik VI's youngest daughter, heir presumptive Princess Caroline. In 1825 Maren Olivia married Fr. Rostgaard von der Maase, lord chamberlain for the queen. Maren Olivia and her mother were:

"The first two from the upper classes who welcomed the poor boy and showed him a measure of kindness".
(Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life))

Mrs Colbiørnsen's summer residence is at Bakkehuset (The House on the Hill) and HCA thus enters this literary set at an early stage, although initially only as an oddity. While Kamma Rahbek enjoys his company, Knud Lyne Rahbek never speaks to him. Also to be found at Bakkehuset at this time is the publisher of danske folkesagn (Danish Legends), Just Matthias Thiele, who HCA had met the year before. In the years to come, a friendship gradually develops between these two.

During this spring/summer, HCA also frequents the residence of Anne Leth Jürgensen, widow of the royal watchmaker Jørgen Jürgensen and mother of the famous watchmaker Urban Jürgensen and of the adventurer ("The King of Iceland") Jørgen Jürgensen. Later, during his travels, HCA becomes very good friends with the descendants of Anne Leth Jürgensen's, the watchmaker family Jules Jürgensen in Le Locle, Switzerland.

4 June

HCA is hired by P.C. Krossing, director at the Royal Theatre's singing school.
Writes a tragedy in unrhymed verse titled Skovkapellet (The Forest Chapel), which is proof-read by Høegh-Guldberg. The tragedy is shelved, after first having been shown to Kamma Rahbek at Bakkehuset and to Oehlenschläger and Ingemann.

1st September: (approx.)

HCA moves into the residence of Caroline Henckel, a steersman's wife, on the 2nd floor of Ulkegade 108. Only breakfast and an evening meal consisting of a set number of open sandwiches are included in the board. At noon he had only a piece of dry bread, which he would eat while sitting on a bench in the park Kongens Have. Otherwise he would roam the streets half-frozen.


Guldberg stops teaching HCA, due to the student's lack of diligence.


HCA visits H.C. Ørsted, who lends him some books.
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