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


Breakthrough in England
The Opera: Little Kirsten

5 January

Sits - in Berlin - for the painter Caroline Bardua (oil painting).

6 January

King Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia confers on HCA a knighthood of The Red Eagle, 3rd grade.

7 January

Continues from Berlin via Halle and Naumburg to Weimar, where he is embraced by the hereditary grand duke, who would like for HCA to remain in Weimar forever. He is keen to establish HCA as a new "Goethe of Weimar". Gets to know the poet Auerbach (he is especially keen on "The Fir Tree"). At a party on 15th, where the duke is present, HCA reads aloud, e.g. "The Bell" and tells the duke that there are similarities between him and the prince in the story.

1846: Breakthrough in England

22 January

Jenny Lind arrives in Weimar and performs both at concerts and at the residence of the hereditary grand duke (where HCA is dressed up to the nines, with a triangular hat and dress sword). The frustrations over the relationship with Jenny Lind make him quite ill.


The first English version of HCA's fairy-tales is released by Chapman and Hall of London. It contains 10 fairy-tales translated by Mary Howitt and 4 hand-coloured illustrations: Wonderful Stories for Children. By Hans Christian Anderson,[!] Author of 'The Improvisatore' etc. HCA had corresponded with Mary Howitt since July 1845. In a letter written to her - in Danish - on 24th October 1845, he discusses translation of the fairy-tales and mention that:

"in German the fragrance is lost [.....] the essence, which has afforded the fairy-tales some measure of importance in Denmark, lies in the way they are told; this does not shine through properly in any German translation. May the English language and your interest, dearest lady, grant you the original character of the actual form".

Later, just before HCA's departure for England, ill-feeling develops between Mary Howitt and HCA regarding the rights to publish his works in England. Mary Howitt's edition of Wonderful Stories was released as a pirate copy in New York in the same year.


Charles Boner's translation of fairy-tales by HCA is published by Joseph Cundalls of London: A Danish Story-book. With numerous illustrations by Count Pocci.

7 February

Departure from Weimer, after a great deal of mutual embracing with the hereditary grand duke, who wants him to be a friend for life. Travels via Jena to Leipzig, where he remains until the 20th. In Leipzig he frequently associates with Mendelssohn and hears him at both private and public musical arrangements (hears e.g. a performance of Wagner's Tannhäuser - overture, which he likes very much - but which the audience boos; "at an entire painting lay therein", the diary, 12th).
Sees Niels W. Gade, who had lived in Leipzig since September 1844 and become Mendelssohn's assistant and was selected to be his successor as director of the Gewandhous Orchestra. Makes an agreement with Gade regarding the opera "Nøkken" (The water Elf). HCA had plans to have this opera staged first in a German theatre and with Jenny Lind in a lead role.
At this time, HCA has no less than 4 offers regarding the publication of his collected works in Germany. He negotiates whilst in Leipzig with Brockhous and with Lorck, finally deciding on Lorck. The contract they agree on (dated 19th February, 1846) allows for HCA to revise the translations which are to be used for the edition and specifies that he provide an autobiography "the length of which is to be determined by the author".
For the revision, HCA is to receive a fee of 300 Prussian "Thaler" (400 rix dollars), half of which will be paid at Easter 1847, the rest to be paid upon delivery of the revision of the final volume. Moreover, HCA charges 3 "Frederiksdorer" for each set of 16 pages written for the new biography (this amounts to 200 Prussian "Thaler", i.e. approx. 270 rix dollars).
He is also to receive 10 complimentary copies of this edition of collected works, as well as extra complimentary copies of the biography. This edition, which is printed twice, (Lorck does not inform HCA of the size of the printings) consists first of all in 1848 of 30 volumes. By 1872, however, a total of 50 volumes had been printed. In Leipzig, HCA also associates with the poet Auerbach and is sought out by several minor poets. Sit (on 19th) for Gustav Schlick, who draws HCA for the newspaper "Illustrierte Zeitung".

20 February

Travels via Jena to Dresden. Here he associates e.g. with Baroness (as she called herself) Wilhelmine von der Decken, wife of a colonel, also with Mrs Serre and the painter J.C. Dahl. Sits for the painter A. Grahl. Grahl's oil painting is used as a model for the picture of HCA adorning the German edition of his memoirs. Is summoned to see the king (Friedrich August II) of Sachsen. Here he also makes the acquaintance of the king's brother, the poet and translator of Dante, Prince Johann (married to a twin sister of the Queen of Prussia).


Robert Kittler of Hamburg publishes a German edition of New Tales. This volume, called Neue Märchen, is translated by Heinrich Zeise and illustrated by Otto Speckter. HCA comments on Spekter's illustrations in a letter to Carl B. Lorck dated 19th May, saying that they are "the work of a genius".

1846: The Opera: Little Kirsten


HCA's bank balance amounts to 300 rdl. at this point in time.

2 March

Journeys from Dresden to Prague (where he remains from 2nd-5th March and commences writing his autobiography for the German edition of his collected works). Continues from Prague via Olmütz to Vienna.

6th - 18th March

In Vienna, staying at the same hotel as Georg Carstensen, the founder of Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. Associates with him and also with the Danish secretary of legation, Melchior Grevenkop-Castenskiold, with whom he drinks coffee each morning. HCA also socialises with the poet Castelli, who had by then been made a knight of the Dannebrog order, and helps him with a translation of "Den lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne" (The Little Girl with the Matchsticks). Makes the acquaintance of the poet Johann Gabriel Seidl and visits Grillparzer. Hears Liszt playing (one string after another breaks) and also associates with him privately.

18 March

Takes the train to Grätz. From here he travels by stagecoach over the mountains to Laibach and Triest, where he stays from 20-24th March. Here he meets a descendent of Leonora Christina and Corfitz Ulfeldt (Count Johann Nepomuk Waldstein-Wartenburg), who has, at his Hungarian castle, manuscripts concerning Leonora Christina and promises to send one to HCA.

19 March

The comedy Mr Rasmussen is performed for the first time at the Royal Theatre. Is only performed once.

24 March

Takes the steamship Maria Dorothea from Triest to Ancona, and continues from here by stagecoach to Rome. A Hungarian man and an Austrian count named Paar, brother of the Austrian ambassador in Copenhagen, accompany him. The count, who has travelled widely in Scandinavia, and the Hungarian man annoy HCA by discussing politics (a comment on this is seen in the diary on 28th March: "Idea for a fairy-tale about liberty and constitution in a hen-yard"). A Polish princess is also travelling with them in the coach behind them, but HCA does not feel honoured by this company. On the contrary, he is obliged to compete with her for rooms whenever they reach the overnight destinations, and he is annoyed at always having to wait for her. Due to the danger of robbers, the travellers are armed, and along the way they see slaves and captured thieves.

31 March

Arrives in Rome - joyful to see the city once again (the diary: "Count Paar went looking for ladies and I went to my lodgings, calmly content. God, if only I could bless you!"). HCA stays in Rome for one month. Socialises e.g. with Ottilie von Goethe, a daughter-in-law of the poet, and reads fairy-tales aloud at a party held by her. Poses for the sculptor Andreas Kolberg, who makes a bust of him. HCA is not pleased with this bust (the diary, 27th April: too "materially perceived") and protests in 1864 when Baroness Christine Stampe intends to order a cast of it, calling it a caricature and "fatal" (the diary, 22nd September). He is also drawn by the Minister Resident of Hanover in Rome August Kestner (a son of Werther's Lotte, i.e. Charlotte Kestner).

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