From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
1858Reads aloud at the Workers' Association
HCA's commemorative poem for Jette Wulff is printed in the newspaper Dagbladet.
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.
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”.
Hears from Wiedeman, his German publisher, that his work Skrifter (Writings) has been released in France.
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.
Travels to Basnæs, staying one night in Sorø on the way. At Basnæs Estate from 19th December - 3rd January.
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 1858
HCA's assets amount to 6,516 rdl..