From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
1847Collected Works in German
The First Trip to England
On to Scotland
January - February
The first volume of the German Gesammelte Werke (Collected Works) is published by Lorck in Leipzig. The title is Das Märchen meines Lebens ohne Dichtung I-II (German for: The Nonfictional Fairy-tale of My Life) . This is HCA's first official autobiography which is thus internationally launched - it is translated by Mary Howitt and released in England during HCA's visit there in the summer of 1847 - 8 years before publication of an official Danish autobiography. An American pirate copy of Mary Howitt's translation, The True Story of My Life, is released in the same year in Boston.
The new Casino theatre is opened. Thomas Overskou, dramatist and theatre historian, had managed to break the monopoly held by the Royal Theatre, which had, up till then, had the sole right to conduct theatre business within Copenhagen's ramparts. Overskou had persuaded the king, Christian VIII, to license him (issued 3rd August 1846) to run a popular theatre on Sct. Annæ Plads. Overskou does not, however, manage to get the theatre up and running.
Instead, it is the founder of Tivoli Gardens, Georg Carstensen, who in fact has the building constructed. As a joint-stock company, Casino attempts, without much success, to use the building for a winter Tivoli. Regarding the status of Casino before H.W. Lange became director and HCA became house-dramatist, HCA reports in Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life): "For a time, shares in Casino were worth so little that one share was sold for a glass of punch, or so the story goes".
Sits for the painter C.A. Jensen, who makes a new portrait of HCA for Jørgen Hansen Koch, master builder to the court. HCA was often invited to dinner at Koch's home. Koch was married to Ida Wulff.
Reads fairy-tales aloud for the Students' Association. "The room was jam-packed, I dreadfully nervous. It went quite well" (the almanac).
Release of Nye Eventyr. Andet Bind Første Samling (New Tales. Volume Two. First Installment) including: ("Den gamle Gadeløgte" (The Old Street Lamp), "Nabofamilierne" (The Neighbouring Families), "Stoppenaalen" (The Darning Needle), "Lille Tuk" (Little Tuk) and "Skyggen" (The Shadow).
Spring of 1847
The Improvisatore is published in French: L'Improvisatore ou La vie en Italie, translated by Camille Lebrun [Mlle Pauline Guyot]. As early as 1837, HCA had been told by his German translator, Von Jenssen, that a French translation of The Improvisatore was under preparation, and that it would be released early 1838. HCA was quite enthusiastic about this, mentioning it in several letters. However, there is no record of any such translation from 1838.
Release of Picture-Book without Pictures (Billedbog uden Billeder), translated by Meta Taylor from Fouqué's German translation (David Bogue Publishers, London).
Models for the painter J.V. Gertner.
Departs on the trip to England, first staying at Glorup Estate from 14th May until 1st June. Here he writes Ahasverus, a closet drama of the world-history genre. This work is commented on by Edvard in a letter dated 31st May 1847 to HCA:
"Either it's the best you've ever written or it's pure madness. Somewhere between the two it damn well is'nt. The first description is, however, the most likely, for when I read the introduction aloud to Jette, tears stopped me, and that's usually a good sign. What I have read [part one] is well rounded in form and far superior to your earlier works. This is a very pleasant feeling for me".
HCA expects the journey will cost approx. 800 rdl., but this amount is to include Paris. He therefore feels obliged to pawn a ring worth 400 rdl. dollars, for which he can get 200 rdl. However, Edvard Collin arranges a letter of credit to the amount of 999 pounds (i.e. 661 rdl.), after payment by Lorck, for the stockbrokers firm Hambro in London.
Continues via Odense, Assens/Årøsund, Hamburg, Bremen and Oldenburg, through Holland (via Utrecht) to Amsterdam (arriving 13th June). Sees his portrait at a booksellers in Amsterdam and finds that all in all he is well-known in Holland. Continues on 15th via Leyden to the Haag (from here, an outing to the seaside resort town Scheweningen).
A party for HCA is held at Hotel d'Europe in Haag.
Takes the train to Rotterdam and from here the steamship Batavier (filled with emmigrants, cattle and cherries) to London.
HCA arrives in London. Here he meets with the hereditary Grand Duke of Weimar as well as Jenny Lind. Also associates with the ballet-dancer Lucile Grahn and the German composer Ludwig Spohr. Sees his portrait (Carl Hartmann's water colour) in the window of a bookseller here in London too.
He is told that in England, those belonging to the nobility and royalty do not associate with artists. He is, however, invited by the high nobility as a much-admired guest. This is not least due to the Danish ambassador in London, Count Frederik (Fritz) Reventlow, who does a lot for HCA and introduces him in the upper circles of society. Reventlow also invites HCA to his own home on several occasions. On one of these evenings at Reventlow's, Carl Hartmann is present and draws HCA reading aloud for the guests. The picture shows (apart from the ambassador) Christian Reventlow, Countess Jutta Reventlow, the daughters Malvina and Hilda, as well as the childrens' governess.
Meets with his translator, Mary Howitt. Visits her and her husband twice in Clapton. Spends quite some time with his other translator, Charles Boner. Sits for the painter J.F. Møller (28th June-13th July). Møller, all the same, produces only one drawing of HCA, which is used as a model for a lithograph.
Release of Mary Howitt's translation (from German) of the autobiography: The True Story of My Life. HCA had given it to her free of charge for translation, but she urges him to pay a fee of 10 pounds. She even makes a public notification of this offer, in order to obligate him. This spurs HCA to seek other options.
During the stay, HCA negotiates with Mary Howitt as well as with Bentley regarding the rights to and fees for future translations. Mary Howitt offers him 10 pounds per 16 page sheet, when the edition involves 3000 copies, and the same for reprinted editions. As HCA does not feel quite sure about Mary Howitt and does not care for the way she puts pressure on him, he finally decides to accept Bentley's offer for the same amount. Bentley had originally offered 5 pounds per sheet, on the condition that HCA pay the translation fees himself, before delivery (Mary Howitt, on the other hand, would have arranged translation herself). HCA feels that Bentley is the most reliable and expects a net profit of 2000 rdl.
Meets Dickens, (the diary: "as we spoke on the verandah, tears came to my eyes"). Stays for about a week with his banker, Joseph Hambro, at his country home (17th - 23rd July), where HCA is able to work on his novel. Disputes with Mary Howitt occur at this time. Poses for the sculptor Joseph Durham (28th July - 2nd August, "my bust is like my soul", diary 2nd August). Durham has also made a bust of Jenny Lind, which of course is what HCA finds so fascinating about this project: "We two pendant" (i.e. what a pair we are) (diary, 28th July).
Departure from London to York by train and on to Edinburgh. Stays with C.J. Hambro outside Edinburgh in Trinity from 11th - 19th August. Is invited to visit the queen and Prince Albert at Loch Logan, but replies that he is unable to come. Feels quite aggravated that the Scottish papers claim, all the same, that HCA had visited Prince Albert. Goes on an outing to the Scottish Highlands (above Loch Cathryn and Loch Lomond to Dumbarton, returning via Glasgow) 19th - 24th August. Along the way he meets several people who recognize him from pictures. Is back in London on the 26th.
HCA sums up his impressions of London in Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) with the following words: ""the high life" and "poverty", these are the two poles in my memories".
Departure from London to Ramsgate (visiting his publisher Richard Bentley en route, at Seven Oaks). Goes on an outing while at Ramsgate (30th August) to Broadstairs, where Dickens and his family live in a hotel. During his stay in London, HCA had received from Dickens a beautiful edition of his works, with a dedication to HCA from "his friend and admirer C D" (the diary, 1st August).
Dickens goes to Ramsgate to see HCA off as he boards the steam-ship bound for Ostende on 30th August.
Travels via Cologne and Frankfurt to Weimar (arriving 7th September). Meets Eckermann once more. Stays at Ettersburg Castle from 8th - 11th September with the hereditary grand duke. Departure on 12th August from Weimar (the hereditary grand duke rides from Ettersburg Castle to see HCA off). In Leipzig, where HCA mainly proof-reads with Lorck, he also sees Brockhaus and Gade. Departs from Leipzig on 17th September, travelling via Braunschweig, Hamburg/Altona and Kiel to Copenhagen.
Back in Copenhagen.
The evening is spent with the king and queen at Sorgenfri Castle.
HCA moves to the corner of Dronningens Tværgade and Store Kongensgade (no. 49, 2nd floor, now demolished).
Special performance (perhaps "concert-performance") at Casino of HCA's vaudeville adaptation of En Comedie i det Grønne (A Comedy Out in the Open Air), originally written for the Royal Theatre (1840). This is the only performance of the play, but it is relaunched on New Years Eve 1848.
Release of fairy-tales translated by James Burns: Tales for the Young. (London).
27th - 28th November
Outing to Roskilde on the recently opened railway (visits the cathedral).
Release of: The Dream of Little Tuk and other Tales, translated by Charles Boner, illustrated by Count Pocci. (The publishers Grant & Griffith, London). During 1847, Charles Boner has, moreover, released two pirate copies of his own translations of HCA works, namely Tales from Denmark and The Ugly Duck and other Tales.
Release of Charles Beckwith Lohmeyer's translation: A Christmas Greeting to my English Friends, Bentleys' Publishing, London.
Release of Ahasverus (epic-dramatic poem).
By train and day coach to Bregentved Estate for a Christmas visit.