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


Ballad Opera and Vaudevilles

1836: Ballad Opera and Vaudevilles

6 January

Premiere at the Royal Theatre of Festen paa Kenilworth, romantisk Syngestykke i tre Acter (The Party at Kenilworth, Romantic Ballad Opera in Three Acts) (music by C.E.F. Weyse). Performed 7 times during HCA's life.

12 January

Publication of the songs from The Party at Kenilworth.


HCA's friend, Henriette Wulff, has noticed that he has changed. He himself tells her (in letter of 3rd February) that:

"I seldom visit friends! I am not sure why, as my feelings are still strong, but I have developed a new disposition, one of activity and homeliness. My years of writing commenced upon my return from abroad, I have maybe four or six years left in which to write well, and these I must seize. I make my home quite cosy, the fire crackles and then my muse pays me a visit, tells me extraordinary fairy-tales, presents me with comical characters from the every day life of both nobility and the ordinary people [he is probably thinking of O.T.], and tells me to; observe those people, they are the ones you know, portray them and they shall come alive!"

12 February

Earliest mention of "The Little Mermaid"("Den lille Havfrue") (in a letter from Henriette Hanck), then titled "Daughters of The Air". This fairy-tale, which to some extent is inspired by the German romanticist writer Friedrich de la Motte Fougué's artistic fairy-tale Undine (1811), is one of those texts which most saliently provides us with insight into the imaginative powers of HCA, in his early period. Several of the later texts, e.g. Dryaden (The Wood Nymph) from 1868 - are developed on the basis of "The Little Mermaid".


C.A. von Benzon paints HCA sitting with a manuscript in his hands. The painting is exhibited at Charlottenborg Castle in the same year. [Jørgen Paulsen dates the painting 1835, but HCA mentions it in March 1836 in a letter to Henriette Hanck as a painting Benzon is then working on]
The young Benzon was the nephew of the administrator of the entailed estate Christiansdal in Odense (now Dalum Nunnery). He died at the age of 33 (in 1849) of cholera in a Parisian prison for the indebted. HCA knew the Benzons at Christiansdal through the Hanck family.
Initially, HCA was quite happy with the portrait, but later criticised it fiercely.
Reitzel the publisher, who bought the painting, saw to it that a steel engraving was made of it (by A. Weger in Leipzig), so that booksellers might use it to advertise works by HCA.

April: (presumably)

German edition of Skyggebilleder (Rambles in the Romantic Regions of the Hartz Mountains, Saxon Switzerland, Etc.), under the German title: Umrisse einer Reise von Copenhagen nach dem Harze, der sächsischen Schweiz und über Berlin zurück, published by Richtersche Buchhandlung in Breslau. The author's name is stated as being H.C. Anderson. The translator is Wilhelm Volk. HCA sees the translation in the beginning of May (cf. letter from 13th/14th May to Henriette Hanck) at Reitzels', but indicates the translator's name as von Ense.

HCA submits to the Royal Theatre: A Real Soldier. Dramatic Situation in Rhymed Verse with Songs and a Choir in One Act . (En rigtig Soldat. Dramatisk Situation paa rimede Vers med Snage og Chor i een Act) The piece was rebuked in May. Despite this, HCA had it printed in 1838.

14 April

Publication in book-form of: Parting and Meeting (Skilles og mødes) (two vaudevilles: The Spaniards in Odense and Twenty-five Years Later) .

1836: O.T.

16 April

Parting and Meeting is performed at the Royal Theatre (3 times in total).

21 April

Publication of the novel O.T. (the letters are an abbreviation of Odense Tugthus (Prison), where the hero of the novel, Otto Thostrup, is born.) The novel gives a general description of the atmosphere and conditions in Denmark in the 1830's and is an investigation of the "interesting"psychology (i.e. a modern character portrayal, concerned with the hidden aspects of human life).
The book is already sold out in the beginning of June.

1st June - 18th August

Summer journey via Køge, Næstved, Sorø and Slagelse to Odense.
With regards to the first stop on the trip, HCA tells Signe Læssøe in a letter dated 3rd July:

"The trip went first to Køge, where, according to one of the "stories of everyday life", it is written: "Oh Lord, Oh Lord, in Køge!". I could not find this statement, and so that others should not, as I, search unrewarded, I wrote it there, and now it is right there, easily noticeable".
Stays almost a month at Lykkesholm Estate (where he starts writing Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler)). Spends a couple of days in Svendborg (arrival 3rd August). On the journey back home, stays once more in Sorø. - The trip has cost HCA approx. 50 rdl.
According to a local belief (unconfirmed) HCA is said to have visited Hindsgavl Estate in the beginning of June, and to have written a short verse in the sentry cabin, Sorgenfri, dedicated to the Prince Governor of Funen, the later King Christian VIII. The verse is there for the viewing on the wall of the cabin which faces the sea (Little Belt). However, there is no documentation of HCA visiting Hindsgavl before 1843.
Meets, in Copenhagen, the French author Xavier Marmier, who writes a biographical portrayal of HCA. Meeting Marmier will be highly significant for the introduction of HCA in Europe, in that this portrayal is reprinted and cited many times in both France and Germany, and thus strengthens the interest in HCA's remarkable fate.
Is painted by C.A. Jensen. The portrait is exhibited at the Art Association in October (and also at Charlottenborg Castle in 1838). Due to the 6 different reproductions, this painting was well known.
In a letter to Henriette Hanck dated 28th October, HCA says:

"Professor Jensen has now completed my portrait; the result is excellent. Last week it was displayed at the Art Association, and everyone likened it to Jensen's famed portrait of Troels Lund, which is certainly the best he has ever done. The ladies were seated in front of it and with their binoculars they looked at the poet, who really appears quite the genius, I find it - pleasant - Well, I am happy to be portrayed in this way for posterity".

10 August

The wedding day of Henriette Thybjerg and Edvard Collin. An entry in HCA's diary (there is every reason to believe that it is dated to early august 1836 and not, as formerly assumed, to 1830) from early August, presumably inspired by the friend's forthcoming wedding, reads:

"Almighty God, you're all I have, my fate is in your hands. I must put my faith in you! Grant me a livelihood! Send me a bride! My blood craves love, as does my heart".

24 August

Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler) is delivered for printing.

24 December

A comedy at the Students' Association in the evening. HCA had adapted a French one act piece, creating a vaudeville in five acts (not printed); Souffleurens Benefice... (The Souffleur's Benefice...) HCA himself played one of the lead roles in the performance, despite having influenza and needing to be fetched from and returned home in a carriage.

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