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


Review by Grìmur Thomsen
Journey to Germany and Italy
Lectures by Professor Eschrichts

1855: Review by Grìmur Thomsen

17 January

The Casino Theatre presents En Landsbyhistorie. Folke-Skuespil i fem Acter efter S.H. Mosenthals 'Der Sonnenwendhof' (A Village Story. Folk-Drama in Five Acts, based on 'Der Sonnenwendhof' by S.H. Mosenthal). The play includes chorus and songs by HCA. Is performed 31 times during HCA's life.

24 January

A Village Story is released in book form.

26 January

Premiere at the Casino theatre of: Den Usynlige paa Sprogø (The Ghost of Sprogø Island), which had been performed at the Royal Theatre in 1839.

31 March

On this day, HCA reads an almost 20 page review by Grìmur Thomsen of his Collected Works, which appeared in Mathias Steenstrup's magazine, Dansk Maanedsskrift, vol. 1. In a letter dated 3rd April to Henriette Wulff he mentions the "great pleasure" reading this review gave him. He describes the article as:

"the first unconditional judgement here in Denmark recognising me as a writer [...] beautifully written, also cleverly, with insight and feeling. All who have read it think very highly of it".

Ingemann congratulates him on the article in a letter dated 30th April:

"I too am pleased that in Grìmur Thomsen you have found a devoted and intelligent observer and portrayer of the genius and character in your style of writing. This is a joy which seldom befalls any writer while he is alive [Ingemann's own books were never reviewed, even though his novels were extremely popular amongst the people], and to a large extent it compensates for that harm and despair which you have previously experienced due to narrow-minded and heartless criticism".

2 April

The 50th birthday of HCA. Is celebrated only with gifts from friends and a dinner at the home of Adolph Drewsen. In the evening, HCA sits at home proof-reading the stories and the auto-biography.

30 April

Release of the book: Historier. Med 55 Illustrationer efter Originaltegninger af V. Pedersen, skaarne i Træ af Ed. Kretzsmar (Stories. With 55 Illustrations Based on Original Drawings by V. Pedersen, Cut in Wood by Ed. Kretzsmar). There are 24 stories, of which 3 are new: "Et Blad fra Himlen" (A Leaf from Heaven), "Klods-Hans" (Clumsy Hans) and "Ib og lille Christine" (Ib and Little Christine). As was the case with the illustrated edition of the collected tales, the publisher Carl B. Lorck in Leipzig was the initiator of this edition of the stories, but the German edition did not appear before 1857.

18 May

Finishes Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life).

2 June

Premiere at the Casino theatre of: I Maaneskin. Alpescener fra de Tyrolske Bjærge (In Moonlight. Scenes from The Alpes of Tirol). Music by Ignaz Lachner (based on Kobell and Seidl's Letzte Fensterl'n andDrei Jahre). The play is performed only once.

1855: Journey to Germany and Italy

4 June

Departure from Copenhagen. Stays at Sorø from 5th-14th June and at Basnæs Estate from 14th - 18th. Then back to Copenhagen, where he attends the funeral of Sophie Gade on the 21st (she was the daughter of J.P.E. Hartmann, born 1831, married to Niels W. Gade in 1852).

28 June

Start of a 3-month trip to Germany and Italy. Takes the steamship 'Slesvig' to Kiel and the train via Altona and Berlin to Dresden. Meets the poet Gutzkow at Mrs Serre's (4th July). Visits Gutzkow (5th July).

6 July

Goes to Maxen, where his tree has been drawn. HCA receives a lithograph of "The Danish Poet's Tree at Maxen". Now plants an oak tree on the lawn in front of the house. Also staying at Maxen is Rosalie, wife of the pianist and composer Adolf Henselt. She crowns him with laurels at a lunch in Rabenhorst and wants to name the place where they are sitting: "dem dänischen Schwan" (German for: "The Danish Swan").
Before leaving Maxen, Mrs Serre and HCA drive once more to Rabenhorst (on 18th July), where a stonemason is chiselling this dedication plus the date "d: 11 July 1855" on the stone; the inscription is plated in gold and HCA plants woodruffs and carob herb.

12 July

Receives Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) by post from Reitzel the publisher. This becomes volume 21 and 22 of Samlede Skrifter (Collected Works), but is also available separately.

19th - 23rd July

In Dresden once again. HCA's head is measured by Carl Gustav Carus, the physician-in-ordinary of the King of Sachsen,:

"It is amongst the smaller, nor is the brain of the larger, but very developed regarding imagination and feeling, to such a degree that I would go mad, had God not provided me with predominant will and energy" (the diary, 21st july).

Lorck does not wish to produce a new revised edition of HCA's memoirs (Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) instead of Das Märchen meines Lebens ohne Dichtung (The True Story of My Life). Instead, Lorck has a young artist make a few changes to his portrait.

23 July

Continues via Hof to Nuremberg, where he is requested to dine with the royal couple (Maximilian II - Max - and Maria Hedewig), at Burg on the 25th. Is invited to a ball on the same evening, which the royal couple also attend. Continues to Munich (remaining there from 26th July - 8th August). Here he sees the poet Emanuel Geibel once again. Also meets the poet Paul Heyse.

4 August

Edgar Collin arrives in Munich to join him on part of the journey. (Edgar Collin, 21 years, son of Edvard's eldest brother Gottlieb, who was married to Augusta Petzholdt). There is a painting by Felix Schlesinger from 1856 which portrays Edgar Collin and HCA at a mail station.

8 August

From Munich via Augsburg to Ulm. On to Stuttgart, where he visits the poet Wolfgang Menzel. Goes to Wildbad (staying here 11th-15th August), where Edvard and Jette Collin are at a health spa with their son Jonas. Here he meets the Grand Duke of Weimar and the son of Schiller (Karl Freiherr von Schiller). HCA is a social success at this time and introduces both Edvard and Edgar to the grand duke.
On this occasion, Edvard Collin gets to know Beaulieu, the chamberlain he had been so enraged by in 1851, when HCA was caught in the middle of the Danish-German conflict. Edvard Collin now finds Beaulieu charming and would like to get to know him better - without taking typical bourgeoisie offence to his chamberlain tone.

15 August

Via Durlach, Karlsruhe, Freiburg and Schaffhausen to Zurich. From there a trip in Switzerland: Luzern, Brunnen, Flüelen, Rigi-Kulm (climbs Rigi with Edgar, first on horse-back, then on foot, overnighting up there). Back in Zürich, HCA visits Richard Wagner on 24th (promises to send him Hartmann's funeral march for Thorvaldsen).
Via Winthertur, then across Lake Boden to Friedrichshafen. From here to Ulm, Heilbronn, then along the river to Heidelberg. From there to Frankfurt (arriving 31st August, departing again the following day; a visit to Mrs Eisendecker).
Here he learns from a Danish bookkeeper that Israel Levin (a man of letters) has been asked to prepare a condemnation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life). However, nothing comes of this. (For a number of years, the criticism of Søren Kierkegaard is forgotten).
Continues to Kassel (1st September, in the diary is noted: "a strange town of tea-water"). Here he visits the composer L. Spohr.

2 September

Edgar returns home via Göttingen. On the next day, HCA travels to Weimar ("in the carriage; a lady who read aloud her thoughts and ate spicy sausage", the diary, 3rd September). In Weimar he associates with Mrs von Gross and the poet Franz von Schober, amongst others. On 6th September he privately marks the day of his first arrival in Copenhagen. Discusses opera plans with Liszt and shows him Ravnen (The Raven) and Liden Kirsten (Little Kirsten). Liszt prefers the latter, which HCA then commences translating, with the help of Beaulieu, under the title of Klein Karin. Upon completion, Liszt promises to arrange the music and the staging of the play.
Goes to Eisenach, upon invitation, to visit the grand duchess at Wilhelmsthal (12th - 15th September). Returns via Kassel, Göttingen, Hannover and Altona (in Ottense, visits the grave of Klopstock, who he had also visited on his first journey out of Denmark. The possibility that this may be the last visit crosses his mind. Continues to Flensburg, takes the steamship to Svendborg, and from here a carriage to Glorup Estate.

1855: Lectures by Professor Eschrichts

21st - 26th September

At Glorup Estate.

26 September

Arrives at Sorø. Here he reads the new book by Ingemann, Tankebreve fra en Afdød (Letters of Thought from a Deceased). The book deals with "the intermediate state", a topic which is related to thoughts HCA himself had regarding what happens to the spirit after death. However, HCA was more focussed on the differences between his and Ingemann's view on the after-life of the soul.
For Ingemann, the present life is actually a passing moment in an eternal universal journey. HCA, on the other hand, sees the development that one reaches in the present life, and what one creates there, as something which is carried over into the next world after death, a kind of platform or qualification for the next station along the journey.
They discuss this matter by correspondence, and HCA reads Ingemann's book twice in order to gain the best possible insight.

29 September

By stagecoach to Roskilde. Goes to church on the next day (Sunday) at the cathedral. Visits the grave of Weyse and takes the train home. Dines with Collin senior on the same evening and then goes to the confirmation of Jonas and Louise Collin.

11 November

Søren Kierkegaard dies, having worn himself out in a battle against the clerical "distortion" of Christianity.

28 November

Release of Billedbog uden Billeder (Picture Book without Pictures). 4th edition (3rd edition was in Samlede Skrifter (Collected Writings) 1854).

November - December

In preparation of writing the novel At være eller ikke være (To Be or Not To Be), HCA attends lectures held by the physiologist and zoologist D.F. Eschricht, who speaks against the materialism in German philosophy and natural sciences.


Release of six Novelletter by Hartmann, accompanied by texts from HCA. When Hartmann had played the pieces for him, he had found that each contained a little story. He therefore wrote the little poems for this purpose, to be read aloud before each piece of music.


The painter August Schiøtt asks HCA to sit for him. It is not known whether anything ever came of this painting.

3 December

The poem "Christian Winther" is printed in the newspaper 'Fædrelandet'. (After having read Winther's poetry 'Hjortens Flugt' (The Flight of The Deer).

7 December

Barters with Reitzel to receive Ingemann's collected works. Apart from Tankebreve fra en Afdød (Letters of Thought from a Deceased), HCA was, in the later years, especially interested in Ingemann's novel depicting the present day: Landsbybørnene (The Village Children) (he could recognise traits from his own fate as an artist in the protagonist Anton). Also the political novel Den Stumme Frøken (The Mute Maid) interested him and he considered this book to be unjustly overlooked.

8 December

Sends a copy of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) to his old teacher from Odense, Fedder Carstens, now living on Tåsinge.

20 December

Reads fairy-tales and stories for the blind at the Institute for the Blind.

Search the timetable    ?