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


First Official Portrait of HCA
The Great Journey of Personal Development or "Bildung"
Death of Mother

1833: First Official Portrait of HCA

1 January

Louise Collin is engaged to W. Lind, who is a prosecutor in military or railway matters, (they are married in 1840). HCA is, at this time, suffering from a period of depression. On 16th February he writes to Henriette Wulff:

"There are pages in the diary of the heart which are so thoroughly stuck together that only Our Lord can open them up, and no matter how candid I otherwise may be, there are sorrows the cause of which I am not able to illuminate; it lies within a feeling buried inside me, which I can not name! I have been a child right until I was beyond youth. I have never really experienced youth! I feel a desperate need for this; a desire to free myself from whims and habits and to enjoy life as a sensible person. There is so much I wish to forget, in order to learn something of more worth, but the game of dice is drawn out at length"[the latter is a reference to the decision concerning the travel grant].

January - April: (presumably)

The painter Adam August Müller paints HCA. It is the first professional portrait of HCA.

This year

In this year, HCA finishes the vaudeville Spanierne i Odense (The Spaniards in Odense) which is not, however, published or performed until 1836. The subject matter is taken up once more in 1865 in Da Spanierne var her (When The Spaniards Were Here).

4 March

Publication of "Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände"(Morning Paper for the Cultured Estates) including a presentation of HCA by Chamisso, as well as 3 poems translated by Chamisso ("The Soldier" ("Der Soldat"), "Dream of Mother" ("Muttertraum") and "A Moment in March" ("Märtsveilchen"). Robert Schumann composes music to accompany these poems.) After his visit to Berlin, HCA had given Chamisso a copy of Phantasier og Skisser (Fantasies and Sketches).

13 March

Is allocated a travel grant, by royal order, from the fund ad usus publicos (600 rdl. pr. year for two years, also receives an added grant of 200 rdl. at a later date). HCA had written to Henriette Wulff the month before (16th) saying:

"I am convinced that unless I am torn away from my momentary surroundings, I will amount to nothing; I shall perish if I am to remain here!"

28 March

Release of The 16 Year-Old Queen. A Drama in Two Acts, translated from Bayard's "La reine de seize ans"(Dronningen paa 16 aar. Drama i to Acter, oversat efter Bayards "La reine de seize ans). Published as no. 47 in the Royal Theatre's repertoire, part 2.

29 March

First performance of Dronningen paa 16 Aar (The Sixteen Year-old Queen). The play is staged a total of 44 times during HCA's life.


Before departing on his journey, HCA gives Edvard Collin the incomplete manuscript to a book of memoirs - it was to be kept in safe-keeping until after his death. Levnedsbogen (The Biography), as it would later be named, serves not only as a personal legitimacy vis-à-vis the circle around Collin, but also as an artist's self-justification.

1833: The Great Journey of Personal Development or "Bildung"

21 April

Before HCA's departure, H.C. Ørsted makes the following entry in his album:

Reason in reason = truth
Reason in will = the good
Reason in imagination = beauty

Such a triad of truth, the good and beauty is the essence of thought and norms of the day (here in Ørsted's particular version, interpreted on the basis of "reason", but stemming from the ideals of the bourgois classes, which developed from approx. 1750 on.

22 April

Departure from Copenhagen (on the same day HCA's tenancy with Charlotte Schrøder in St. Kongensgade 33/10 is terminated) via Lübeck, Hamburg, Celle, Hannover, to Kassel, where HCA visits the composer Ludvig Spohr. He and Spohr amuse themselves with talk of Weyse and Kuhlau, and Spohr writes a three-line pica in his journal. Continues on via Frankfurt am Main to Mainz, from Rhintur to Koblenz, then returns to Mainz. Via Metz and Verdun to Paris.

10th May - 15th August

Staying in Paris.

25 May

Visits the exiled P.A. Heiberg (father of Johan Ludvig Heiberg), who is now almost blind. HCA has heard that he is supposedly rude to Danes who visit him, but in actual fact finds him to be "most kind"(the diary). Heiberg considers his death to be forthcoming and reads his epitaph aloud for HCA.

25 June

Presumably the date of his first meeting with Heinrich Heine, the poet. Heine's Buch der Lieder (Book of Songs) and Harzreise (Journey to The Harz) had been an important source of inspiration for the young HCA, who recognised some of his own "Weltschmerz"(existential pain) in Heine's poetry and learned from his ironic and mocking way of playing with the whole sphere of emotions rooted in romanticism.

14 August

Visits the writer Victor Hugo, an exponent of French "romanticism", which, along with related influences from England and Germany, has a significant impact on Danish literature in the 1830's, including the work of HCA.
On this day, sends home part one of Agnete og Havmanden (Agnete and the Merman).

15 August

From Paris via the Swiss border to Geneva, where HCA arrives 19th August.

20 August

Release of Samlede Digte (Collected Poems). This includes the chapters: "Elegiac Poems", "Romances and Descriptive Poems", "Assorted Poems", "Humorous Poems", "Genre Paintings"and ""Comic Tales". 158 poems in total.

22 August

From Geneva via Lake Genfer to Lausanne, Neuchatel and Le Locle. Stays with the Houriet family in Le Locle from 25th August to 14th September ("In this house there are two elderly sisters, old maids, they make quite a fuss of me, embroidering my hose, darning the holes from Paris, and giving me flowers and jam!". They are the sisters of Urban Jürgensen's widow at home, as HCA mentions in a letter to Signe Læssøe dated 12th September).
Completes Agnete and The Merman, and sends part 2 home on 12th September.

24 August

In honour of Oehlenschläger's visit to Göteborg, the newspaper Göteborg Dagblad prints a new translation of HCA's "Det Døende Barn"(The Dying Child), but incorrectly attributed to Oehlenschläger! The title is: "The Dying Child, by Oehlenschläger".

1833: Death of Mother

15 September

On to Milan, Genoa, Rapallo, Pisa, Livorno and Pisa once more (7th October).

7 October

HCA's mother dies.

8 October

On to Florence, Perugia, Terni and Rome.

18 October

Arrival in Rome, where HCA remains until 12th February 1834. In The Fairy Tale of My Life (Mit Livs Eventyr) he describes Rome as follows; "of all the cities in the world, the one where I soon came to feel completely at home".
Meets Thorvaldsen straight away. Thorvaldsen the Dane had lived in Rome since 1797 and was now one of the leading sculptors in Europe and ran large sculptor workshops with many employees. Moreover, Thorvaldsen was at the centre of life in the Scandinavian colony of artists in Rome.
The time spent in Rome turns out to be a great revelation of the visual arts for HCA and influences his own sense of form and colour. Meeting and, after a while, becoming friends with Thorvaldsen would eventually strengthen HCA in his faith in his own worth as an artist, which was fairly weak at this time.


"The Dying Child by Oehlenschläger"(!) is reprinted in the Swedish Magasin för konst, nyheter och moder. It is the same translation as that seen in Götheborgs Dagblad"in August. The poem is accompanied by a picture of a naked child on a mattress in a nature setting, surrounded by a caring mother and an angel. The poem also appears in new translations in 1839, 1847 and 1849.

21 November

Henrik Hertz arrives in Rome. HCA, who immediately helps him obtain lodgings and spends a lot of time with him in the next few weeks, is prepared to forget his earlier feelings of hostility towards Hertz, who had ridiculed HCA in his Gjengangerbreve (Ghost Letters).
In fact, they get to be so chummy that they are able to sit and gossip about the theatre and other more lewd and bawdy topics (the diary, 21st December).

8 December

Albert Küchler draws HCA.

16th December

Receives a letter from Jonas Collin regarding the death of his mother. Writes about this to Henriette Wulff:

"Her position in life was harsh, and I could do almost nothing for her; this often saddened me at home, but I could never discuss it! Now the Lord has taken her into his care, and for this I am respectfully grateful; it has, however, affected me deeply. Now I really am quite alone, - no longer is any creature bound by nature to love me".

23 December

Publication of Agnete og Havmanden. Dramatisk Digt (Agnete and the Merman. Dramatic Poem). Includes two parts: "Agnete at Holmegaard"and "Agnete, the Merman's Wife".

24 December

Christmas is celebrated in the garden of Villa Borghese, close to the amphitheatre. Amongst others, HCA is there with "Jensen, the painter of flowers [...] in warm sunshine we strolled, tying garlands and festoons. A great orange tree bearing fruit was our Christmas tree; I was lucky enough to win the best prize, a silver goblet, inscribed 'Christmas Eve in Rome 1833'".
HCA, who had written a song for the occasion, leaves the party early, along with Thorvaldsen, while the remaining guests indulge in liberal amounts of alcohol. HCA comments on this in the diary on 26th January: "All this compatriotism is not a good thing. They have no real interest in each other, the unifying interest is the inn and the food".

27 December

Commences writing Improvisatoren (The Improvisatore, or: Life in Italy). Reads the first chapter aloud for the poet Ludvig Bødtcher, who - according to HCA - is pleased with the opening pages of the novel. Plans to finish it with a chapter about Naples, written in Naples.

31 December

In the newspaper "Zeitung für die elegante Welt", HCA is introduced by his old friend Fritz Petit, in an article on Danish Literature.

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