From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
1854Travelling with Einar Drewsen
A visit from Abroad
In this year
Release in French of Choix de contes pour la jeunesse (Selected Tales for Children) translated by Charles Brandon (Leipzig).
HCA reads Mathilde Fibiger's (Clara RaphaÎl's) novel Minona, which is about incest and other issues of sexuality. HCA is shocked by it: "For her sake and for the sake of literature, one would wish it had never been written", says he in a letter to Ingemann, dated 21st January and continues:
"Here, love becomes animal-like, and love between man and woman - I know this myself - is pure in its flame; at least there is no consciousness of the sensuous element [...] the final devotion towards Christ, it is false; she grasps at him, so as to at least have something to grasp; grace will not be achieved in that manner! Salvation achieved thus is too easy [...] yes, we are all sinners in different ways; but here they all are in one certain aspect: in one whirl of sensuality! However is it possible that a young girl - pure and innocent as I believe the authoress to be - can live, think, write and proof-read something like this? The book has affected me".
Travels to Germany and Italy with 21 year-old Einar, son of Adolph Drewsen and Ingeborg Collin. They take the steamship 'Slesvig' to Kiel. Aboard, HCA hears (cf. the diary for this date) from a Russian clergyman that The Improvisatore has been translated well and appears in "one of the best Russian journals" [presumably it is the edition from 1845].
From Kiel by train to Leipzig, where HCA goes to see Lorck. From here on to Dresden (arriving 11th May), where HCA socialises with his old friends, especially the Serre family.
He and Einar Drewsen stay at Maxen, the estate of the Serre family. Sees his tree again ("a lovely path has been laid around it, the tree itself stands firmly and beautifully at the edge of the mountain"). One rainy day at the Serre home, they experiment with the supernatural, using a key which is to answer:
"It became apparent that I had a strong magnetic force, it certainly was not a figment of my imagination" (the diary, 15th).
Return to Dresden along with the poet Auerbach, amongst others.
By train through Prague to Vienna. Here he meets Jenny Lind with her husband and child and hears her sing at a concert. They continue on 29th to Triest (arriving 31st). Einar was ill on the journey and "cranky" (the diary, 30th).
Aboard the steamship 'Roma' to Venice. Continuing on 6th June by train to Peschiera and by steamship across Lake Garda to Riva. From here with an omnibus along a rough cliff road to Trient. Further via Botzen and Innsbruck to Munich (arrival 12th June).
Along the way, a Scottish man, who did not know to whom he was speaking, tells HCA that he always carried The Improvisatore with him on trips to Italy.
Poisonous bites on the cheek and throat become infected. Has a poultice applied, which he keeps on whilst attending a social event in Munich. Here he is seated between ladies who compliment him. "I was in despair and then they asked me to read aloud, I suffered greatly after that (the diary, 12th). Argues with Einar at this time.
Release of the 2nd edition of the collected Tales, illustrated by Vilh. Pedersen (from 1849). Before his death, Reitzel had decided that the edition should consist of 4,000 copies, 2,000 in high-quality paper and 2,000 of a lesser quality, "as he would then be able to make a difference in price" (letter to Edvard Collin, 14th June 1853).
19th - 21st June
At the castle Hohenschwangau with King Max. The king takes HCA on a long drive and speaks with him about nature, literature and especially about Das Märchen meines Lebens (The True Story of My Life).Goes hiking in the mountains on the following day. When HCA departs, the king asks that he always visit him whenever he comes to Bavaria.
Departure from Munich. Travelling via Nuremberg and Leipzig to Weimar (arriving 27th). Has lunch with Liszt. He and the cigar-smoking princess with whom he lives applaud HCA when he informs them that he alone had clapped for Wagner's overture to Tannhäuser at a performance in Leipzig. He and Einar continue to Eisenach on 29th, and HCA goes by himself to the castle Wilhelmsthal, where he stays until 2nd July with Carl Alexander, who is now grand duke. Sleeps in the rooms which the young Goethe last had stayed in there.
Returns home to Copenhagen.
Visits Henrik and Jonna Stampe at Christinelund; continues on 17th to Sorø. Here the Norwegian poet Andreas Munch arrives to visit.
Return to Copenhagen.
31st July - 7th August
Staying at the hydropathic establishment at Klampenborg (a health spa).
At the theatre in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, he reads "Kjærestefolkene" (The Sweethearts) at a performance by Chr. Schmidt (later director of the Casino theatre). On the previous evening this theatre had performed En Comedie i det Grønne (Comedy in an Outdoor Setting).
Receives a visit from his English publisher, Richard Bentley, and takes him to see Tivoli gardens.
Accompanies Fredrika Bremer and Marcus and Rebecca Spring to Roskilde (Marcus Spring is an American businessman, a socialist and a philanthropist).
Is at the Collins', but leaves there and sits at home the whole evening with a poultice on the eye (due to a sty).
At the Casino theatre, the play Meer end Perler og Guld (More than Pearls and Gold) is revived after many years. The audience applauds the play heartily.
During the year
HCA is paid a total of 1,485 rdl. in royalties from Reitzel's publishing house, to a large extent for the collected works.