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.

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