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


Private Lessons in Copenhagen


HCA expresses, in a none dated letter to Jonas Collin, his fear of, that Meisling is so unsatisfied with his skills in Greek and Latin he wont let him graduate, and all work would have been in vain. HCAs personal relationship with Meisling and position in the household appear from the following:

“Since you wrote to Meisling he hasn’t been so hard on me as before, but his manners against me is getting more cold every day; Helsingør is an expensive place to live and everything is therefore more and more restricted. – Every day at noon I’m at the school reading until the afternoon where education starts, and thereby save warming up my stove in my room. – Every evening I get 5 pieces of wood, my room is pretty tall and my stove is so big that the 3 pieces is half burned when I, a little after 5 o’clock, return to my room with the last 2 pieces. I can’t stand the cold until 9 o’clock and I can’t get more wood; The girls sometimes slip in some wood to me in my room, but this can’t happen every night, so the other night I had to go to bed at a little past 9 o’clock. – I could stand this, if I saw a friendly face every once in a while, but nothing is more rare. – Last Sunday my stove was warmed up at 6 o’clock in the morning, but at 9 o’clock it was almost burned out, I therefore asked the girl to ask him for a few pieces of firewood, cause I was going to stay at my room all morning. I got about three pieces, but as we sat at the dinner table, the hole family, the new teacher in Hebraic and his brother, and a talk about rooming and things like that, Meisling turned to me and said, that I have asked for wood today and that I shouldn’t expect to get wood next time I asked for it, since the payment I gave him was not enough, and that you in town paid this, that and the other for dinner, but I only paid 200 rdl. for everything and he was loosing money in having me. You probably understand how painful this was for me dear benefactor and that his thinking of me is very bad, since he see me as a burden. I truly live as limited as possible, live very modest and I am very tolerant despite the circumstances”.

1827: Private Lessons in Copenhagen


Collin takes HCA out of Meisling's school.

18 April

HCA moves to Copenhagen, where he lives in a rented room in the attic in Vingårdsstræde 132 (later no. 6). He is tutored privately in preparation for the Danish equivalent of the General Certificate of Education (England) or high school graduation (USA) by the theologian and historian Ludvig Christian Müller (who moved out to Christianshavn). The walks out there provide inspiration for Fodreise (A Walking Tour).
It is at this time that HCA develops a custom which remains in his life for many years; he is a regular dinner guest at the homes of various families, in the early days as an act of kindness towards the poor student, whereas later he is an enlivening focal point and a guest of honour.
At this early stage his dinner rotation is as follows; Mondays at Commander Wulff's home, Tuesdays at the Collins', Wednesdays with G.H. Olsen, titular Councillor of State and member of the theatre's board of directors, Thursdays with Widow Friederikke Müffelmann (her sister Martha had been a housekeeper at the Meisling home in Slagelse, while HCA went to school there), Fridays with H.C. Ørsted, Saturdays with Jonathan Balling (warehouse administrator at the Royal Greenland Chamber of Commerce). HCA keeps Sundays free, as he is often invited out.

17th August ff.

Has several poems published in Johan Ludvig Heiberg's periodical, "Kjøbenhavns Flyvende Post" (Copenhagen's Flying Post), which embraced the new style in literature, "the form school" and established Heiberg as the leading critic of the day. Heiberg was also the leading playwright and dramaturge. HCA had met Heiberg at one of his weekly Friday dinners at the home of H.C. Ørsted.

25 September

The poem "Det Døende Barn" (The Dying Child) - one of HCA's most famous - is printed in A.P Liunges paper, "Københavnsposten" (The Copenhagen Post), with a German translation next to it, written by HCA's acquaintance from Elsinore, Ludolph Schley (later, in December 1828, it was reprinted in Heiberg's periodical, Copenhagen's Flying Post. The translation had first been printed, anonymously - without HCA's knowledge, in a newspaper in Libau in East Prussia (summer of 1827), where Schley had arrived as Swedish secretary to the Consulate after leaving Elsinore in 1826).

7 December

The story in verse "Dykker-klokken. Et Eventyr paa Havets Bund" (The Dive Bell. A Fairy-tale on The Seabed), which later appears in Fodreisen (A Walking Tour) is printed in the "Kjøbenhavns flyvende post" (The Copenhagen Flying Post).

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