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


The First Trip to Sweden
Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler)

1837: Fairy-tales

2 April

HCA is showered with birthday presents, not least from the widowed Mrs Bügel (whose daughters Ingemann had previously shown an interest in). From her he receives: "eau de cologne; soap, 6 bottles of wine, two bottles of stout [for many years, stout was HCA's regular drink before retiring in the evening], two bottles of Champagne; one measure of sugar and [approx.] 14 feet of fine, black cloth, Alles auf einmal einzunehmen!"[German for: and all to be taken in at once!], as HCA confides in Henriette Hanck in a letter dated 4th April.

7 April

Publication of Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Tredie Hefte (Tales, Told for Children.Third Booklet) including: "Den lille Havfrue" (The Little Mermaid) and "Kejserens nye Klæder" (The Emperor's New Clothes). 2nd edition 1846.

1837: The First Trip to Sweden

May - June: (presumably)

German edition of O.T. [later editions are titled O.Z.] translated by W.C.Christiani. Published by Eduard Kummer in Leipzig.

20th June - 19th July

Journey to Stockholm (via Elsinore, Helsingborg, Varberg, Göteborg, then the Göta Canal to Stockholm).

26 June

Aboard the boat on the Göta Canal, HCA meets Frederika Bremer, who boarded in Vänersborg on the 25th. Frederika Bremer is known in Europe for her religiously oriented domestic novels, and in the following years, she will come to be a an important support for HCA in his Swedish "crusade". While she thinks very highly of his novels, he can barely stand to read a single one of hers.

28 June

Release of the 2nd edition of Improvisatore (The Improvisatore). Reitzel pays HCA 180 rdl. for this edition.

4 July

Sails from Stockholm to Uppsala. Returns to Stockholm on 7th July.

7-8th July

HCA is with Frederika Bremer and the poet K.A. Nicander in Stockholm.

9 July

Returns home from Stockholm.

13 July

Visits the poet Esaias Tegnér on the way home, in Göteborg.

1837: Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler)

18 July

On the way home across Sealand, HCA travels via Gurre and Fredensborg and visits Frederiksborg Castle. He is accompanied by his patroness, the old, eccentric widow, Mrs Bügel, who at this time provides HCA with necessities, in a more than motherly fashion.

28th July - 24th August

Summer journey to Sorø, Odense and Lykkesholm Estate. In Sorø he reads Only a Fiddler aloud for Ingemann and Hauch.

"Hauch considers it to be the most outstanding of all my work, in fact above anything from recent time, he predicted that this would cement my good fortune, that I would achieve fame in Germany and that I would win the support of the mightiest in Denmark, so my future might be secured,"
(letter to Edvard Collin, dated 11th August).

In Odense, HCA is celebrated at a dinner held by the brother of Signe Læssøe, a Joseph Abrahamson, who is General Commissioner of War (he had moved to Odense in 1835, when promoted to this rank. Signe Læssøe and he were the children of the poet and officer W.H.F. Abrahamson, who wrote the poem "My Son, Would You Conquer The World, Then Bow!"). HCA says of the dinner to Edvard:

"There was a fine dinner and 8 different wines; the whole event was arranged just for me and toasts were made to the Romans and to me. Just as well that I have only written 3 novels; had there been more to toast, then I would surely have ended up under the table"

Must have visited Glorup Estate whilst on an outing from Lykkesholm Estate, as he (cf. the diary, 10th August, 1856) has written his name and the year 1837 on the old port at entrance to the deer park at Glorup. And indeed, this park does feature as scenery in Only a Fiddler.


Marmier's biography of HCA, "Une vie de poète"(Life of a Poet) in Revue de Paris (reprinted in his Histoire de la littérature au Danemark et en Suède (Paris 1839). Marmier also translates "Det Døende Barn"(The Dying Child).

10 November

Translation of Marmier's article to German, in the Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes (Berlin).

22 November

Release of the novel Kun en Spillemand (Only A Fiddler). The three first novels form - also from the perspective of readers abroad - a closed circle including depiction of "life in Italy"(a favourite subject of painters and writers of the romanticist period and on) and of "life in Denmark"(HCA's contribution to the exotic traits in the literature of the time). Moreover, the novels are modern, psychological and social portrayals, situated in the borderline area between romanticism and the new developing realism.

Regarding his new novel, HCA had already in May 1836 written to Henriette Hanck, saying that it would embody:

"The poetic traits of our age, here in Denmark, only the poetic, nothing from daily life [although there is in fact a certain amount of this, HCA is probably - polemically - thinking here of Mrs Gyllembourg's Domestic Stories] but truth just the same [!!!] I wish to be the best novelist in Denmark".


The student's farce, Langebro (Long Bridge) is staged.

11 December

Sophie Ørsted is engaged to Fritz Dahlstrøm, a bachelor of law (HCA had been infatuated in her for a period of time).

The first prints of C.A. Jensen's portrait of HCA are available at Christmas time. Jensen himself instigated the prints, as a source of income.

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