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


To Germany and Switzerland
Reads aloud at the Workers' Association

1858: Fairy-tales

In this year

Release of the 1st edition of Gustave Vapereau's Dictionnaire universelle des contemporains (Universal Dictionary of Contemporaries) (Paris, London, Leipzig). The work includes an article on HCA,

"célèbre poëte et romancier danois" ("famed Danish poet and novelist"). Towards the end of the article, HCA is described in the following terms: " On s'est plu à retrouver, dans M. Andersen, avec un esprit qui rappelle un peu Voltaire par l'ironie fine et déguisée, le sentiment et la rêverie des peuples du Nord, et une richesse d'imagination vraiment orientale; ce mélange de qualités diverses a contribué à faire de lui un des poëtes les plus originaux du XIXe siècle"

("Mr Andersen is pleasing in that he - aside from possessing an intellectual make-up marked by such fine, opaque irony, a little like that of Voltaire - brings to us the sentiment and vision of the Nordic people, but also a truly oriental richness of fantasy; this mixture of different qualities has contributed towards his becoming one of the most original writers of the 19th century").

In this year

A collected edition of the fairy-tales is released in Dutch: Verzamelde vertellingen en sproken translated by C. de Jong (Utrecht).

In this year

A collection of HCA's fairy-tales is released in Hungarian (Pest).

2 January

Returns from Basnæs Estate to Copenhagen.

30 January

Reads aloud for the Students' Association for "a particularly large auditorium".

2 March

Release of Nye Eventyr og Historier (New Tales and Stories), including "Suppe paa en Pølsepind" (Soup on a Sausage Stick), "Flaskehalsen" (The Bottle Neck), "Pebersvendens Nathue" (The Nightcap of the Peversvend), "Noget" (Something), "Det gamle Egetræes sidste Drøm" (The Old Oak Tree's last Dream) and "Abc-bogen" (The A-B-C Book). This book already sold out on 12th March. 4 editions had been released by 1865.

30 March

Is summoned to dine at court with King Frederik VII for the first time.

31 March

Is bestowed with the honorary Silver Cross from the order; Men of the Dannebrog.

10 April

Reads "Dynd-Kongens Datter" (The Marsh King's Daughter) aloud for Fr. Paludan-Müller.

30th April - 1st May

At Frederiksborg Castle, first to dine, then reads aloud in the evening. Has a long conversation on the next day with Countess Danner ("who was very gracious and extremely charming", the diary).

15 May

Release of Nye Eventyr og Historier. Anden Samling (New Tales and Stories. Second Installment), including "Dynd-Kongens Datter" (The Marsh King's Daughter), "Hurtigløberne" (The Racers) and "Klokkedybet" (The Bell Deep).

1858: To Germany and Switzerland

16 May

Travels to Sorø. Continues to Basnæs Estate on 18th. Presumably back in Copenhagen approx. 28th May.

15 June

Travels to Sorø. Continues from there with Harald Drewsen (the younger brother of Viggo and Einar, son of Adolph Drewsen and Ingeborg Collin) aboard the steamship 'Diana' from Korsør to Flensburg. On through Altona/Hamburg, Hannover, Kassel, Guntershausen, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Basel, Luzern to Brunnen (arriving 27th June, going on outings from here to Andermatt and Hospenthal). Continues on 3rd July via Lachen, Glarus, across Lake Wallenstädter to Ragaz. After a mountain climbing trip on 6th July they continue to Zürich, Schaffhausen, Konstanz, Lindau, Augsburg and Munich (arriving 11th July). On the 16th, on to Nuremberg, Bamberg, Plauen and Leipzig (where he meets with the publishers Wiedemann and Lorck). Arrives in Dresden on 20th.

22nd July - 5th August

Staying at Maxen.

25 July

Clara Heinke arrives at Maxen, armed with two chaperones (a sister and an aunt), to visit for a day or two.

5th - 19th August

In Dresden once again.

19 August

Continues the journey, travelling via Leipzig, Braunschweig, Altona, Flensborg and Svendborg back to Glorup Estate. In the course of this tourist trip, HCA very often came across persons who either sat reading in books by him or who spoke of him, without knowing who it was in front of them. As far as Harald Drewsen is concerned, however, he was greatly annoyed by his character and regretted having brought him along. On the final part of this journey HCA suffers from boils, as on several earlier occasions during these years.

23rd - 28th August

At Glorup Estate.

29 August

Back in Copenhagen, where he stays at Hotel Phønix, then goes to his rooms in Nyhavn on the following day.

10 September

As an invited guest, sees the unveiling of the monument for King Frederik VI in Frederiksberg Have (a park).

13 September

HCA's long-standing friend Jette Wulff dies aboard the Atlantic steamer 'Austria', when a fire breaks out on the ship. HCA has made a note of the date in the almanac, but it must be an added entry, made at a later date, as he writes a letter to her as late as the 24th. In the almanac he writes that he has read a notice regarding the accident in the paper Flyveposten on 7th October. Not until then is he aware - after having read less detailed notices in other newspapers on the previous days - that the fire was on the very ship that Jette had been aboard.

20 September

Goes to Basnæs Estate. Overnights in Sorø on the way.

27 September

Returns to Copenhagen.

1858: Reads aloud at the Workers' Association

22 October

HCA's commemorative poem for Jette Wulff is printed in the newspaper Dagbladet.

29 October

After many years of absence, the play Liden Kirsten (Little Kirsten) is taken up again, now newly rehearsed and with a new cast. HCA notes an increase in audience size and applause at the performances.

October or November

Is the first Danish writer to read aloud for the oldest association of workers ("when the working class gathered for the first time in an association, I, in 1858, was the one who broke the ice. It is an honour I will not lose sight of", in the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life)). The reading drew a great crowd. HCA was nervous about this new audience which he was unaccustomed to:

"It was an uneasy and agitated time in Copenhagen. Far more people crowded in than the great hall could seat; outside, throngs of people leaned against the windows, demanding these be opened; it was quite overwhelming for a highly strung, timid nature such as mine. However, as soon as I stood on the platform all my fears were gone! (in the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life)).

To the working-class audience HCA introduces the art of writing as "the art that opens our eyes and our hearts to the presence of beauty, truth and the good", and he uses imagery prevalent in the novel De to Baronesser (The Two Baronesses), namely the red thread that runs through all the rope in the English navy:

"Through the lives of all people there is also a thread, an invisible thread that shows we belong to God. To find this thread in that which is small as well as great, in our own lives, in everything around us, that is what the art of writing must help us achieve". HCA ends his introduction with the words: "In this way, the art of writing is equal to science in that it opens our eyes to beauty, truth and the good" (ibid).


The fairy-tale "De Vises Steen" (The Stone of the Wise Man) is printed in Folkekalender for Danmark 1859.

2 December

In a letter to Mrs. Henriette Scavenius at Basnæs HCA reports:

“A Hungarian edition of my Fairytales has been sent me from Hungary, These fairytales and four of the novels are now available in Hungarian, Bohemian, Russian and Polish; that’s four Slavonic languages, it is a strange lucky star that floats above my writings”.

15 December

Hears from Wiedeman, his German publisher, that his work Skrifter (Writings) has been released in France.

15 December

Premiere at the Casino theatre of the fairy-comedy Lykkens Blomst (The Flower of Happiness), which had first been performed at the Royal Theatre in 1845. Is staged at Casino 3 times during HCA's life.

18 December

Travels to Basnæs, staying one night in Sorø on the way. At Basnæs Estate from 19th December - 3rd January.

19 December

Premiere at the Royal Theatre of Bournonville's ballet Blomsterfesten i Genzano (The Flower Festival in Genzano), with music by Edv. Helsted and H.S. Paulli. The subject of the ballet is inspired by the depiction of the Italian folk festival in HCA's novel Improvisatoren (The Improvisatore).

31 December

HCA's assets amount to 6,516 rdl..

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