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


Home From the Journey to Spain
The Debt to The Collin Family
Boredom and Ovation
The Travel Book; I Spanien (In Spain)

1863: Home From the Journey to Spain

In this year

Release of Fortællinger og Eventyr (Tales and Stories) in Czech, translated by Mik. Boleslavsky (Praze).

In this year

Release of 14 of HCA's fairy-tales in a Russian translation (from German). "The Society of Women Translators" (St. Petersburg) are responsible for the edition, which contains a small introductory article describing the fairy-tales:

"It is safe to say that it would be difficult to find, in the literature of any country, in this genre, anything that outdoes these fairy-tales, as far as their extraordinary imaginative quality, freshness and joy of story-telling is concerned"

A second edition of this selection is released in 1867.

In this year

Release of The Ice Maiden and Other Tales in Philadelphia, translated from German by Fanny Fuller. It is the first American edition of fairy-tales which is not based on a British edition.

Until 14th January

In Bordeaux, where they are looked after by a resident Danish wine-merchant, N.J. Jurgensen. Hears Gounod's opera Faust twice while here, but prefers Goethe's drama. It was "the scent of the flower but not the flower itself", (the diary, 7th). All the same, he does hear the opera later on several occasions, also in Copenhagen.

14 January

Departure from Bordeaux. Via AngoulÍme, Poitiers, Tours, Blois and Orlèans to Paris.

21st January - 20th March

In Paris. Here, the Danish attachè Harald Moltke-Huitfeldt is able to organise a month of free entry to the opera for HCA (the French are a little surprised that he is more interested in the opera than the theatre).
Meets Marmier, but otherwise tries to avoid his company. Also meets P.L. Møller at Consul-General Albert Delongs'. Møller is surprised to see HCA looking so young and unchanged, whilst HCA himself feels very troubled by old age and illness.
Spends quite a bit of time with Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and reads his piece Sigurd Slembe. Also hears Bjørnson's plans for his next piece, Maria Stuart.

Meets the writer Henrik Scharling and reads his Nøddebo Præstegaard.(Nøddebo Vicarage)..

Pays a visit to La Morgue and sees corpses which have been pulled out of the river Seine.
Is given a free pass to Thèatre Francais and the Opèra comique. Runs into Kertbeny once again and overcomes his previous animosity towards him. Receives (6th March) a letter concerning the death of Major Serre.
Runs into Clara Schumann and her daughter. Argues with Clara Schumann about Gade and Hartmann (she refers to Gade as the master and Hartmann as a dilettante). Is invited by her to attend her concert. HCA also pays a visit to the publisher and book-seller E. Dentu and complains about the poor quality of the French translation of his fairy-tales.

9 February

Release of the first booklet of H.C. Andersens Eventyr og Historier. Med Illustrationer efter Originaltegninger af V.Pedersen. Andet Bind. Med 121 Illustrationer (Hans Christian Andersen's Tales and Stories. With Illustrations based on Original Drawings by V. Pedersen. Volume Two. Including 121 Illustrations). The two final booklets were released 10th and 30th March. This edition consisting of two volumes and the three called Nye Eventyr og Historier (New Tales and Stories) from 1870-1874 together form the complete edition of HCA's fairy-tales within his own life-time.

11 March

The Scandinavians host a party at the Palais Royal for HCA. Bjørnson makes a speech in his honour and praises his folk-based wit and satire. As a decoration to be hung at the far end of the ball-room, the Swedish painter J.A. Malmström produces a large water-colour depicting HCA surrounded by the figures from his fairy-tales (the sketch for the decoration is still intact).

1863: The Debt to The Collin Family

20 March

Departure from Paris. Via Aachen to Düsseldorf (here from 21st - 25th). On via Hannover, then Hamburg. After Hamburg, at Neumünster, HCA and Jonas Collin go their separate ways, as Jonas travels via Kiel directly to Copenhagen. HCA continues on through Flensburg, Haderslev, Assens to Odense.
In Odense, HCA goes to the theatre: "there I sat, a stranger amongst strangers in my childhood town", (the diary, 29th); leaves after the 3rd act and is told later that apparently the crowd had called out three cheers for him at the end of the play. On the next day, the 30th, he goes with Bishop Engelstoft to see his parents' house, then goes to see the grave of his father and looks in at the cathedral: "Nothing had changed since my childhood", (the diary, same day). On via Korsør to Copenhagen.

31 March

Arrives in Copenhagen. The journey with Jonas Collin jnr. (who was HCA's guest) may be estimated to have cost HCA approx. 2,774 rdl. (HCA himself calculates the total cost at 3,400 rdl., while Edvard Collin considers the amount to be 2,374 rdl. In 1993 terms, the 2,744 rdl. is at least the equivalent of 280,000 Dkr., of which close to half must have been spent on Jonas). In spite of the expenses, HCA's assets have increased by 1,269 rdl. during the trip.
As a result of the growing tension between the travelling companions, HCA comments in his diary (25th March), after arriving home, with regards to the money he has spent on Jonas:

"It is debt repaid, received in under oppressive circumstances, repaid to a presumptuous conceited cashier".

The very bitter, at times even hateful, feelings towards Jonas during the final part of the journey and after the arrival home are toned down by and by, but flare up again at a later point.


Sees Bjørnson in Copenhagen. Is invited to attend the inauguration of the new building for the Students' Association (15th). Notes the pompous frame and the "raw" nature of the party (the diary).

5 April

6 poems about Spain are printed in the magazine Illustreret Tidende.

20 April

Reads aloud for the Workers' Association (in the large hall at Vingaardsstræde 6).

22 April

Takes the steamship 'Zampa' to Bøget and from there a wagon to Christinelund, where he works on his book about Spain.

2 May

To Holsteinborg.

8th - 20th May

At Basnæs, where he completes the first revision of the book on Spain.

20 May

Return to Copenhagen, to no. 67 Nyhavn. Feels lonely, unsettled, restless and eager to travel abroad once more. Visits Anna Bjerring, who is in Copenhagen for a few days, on 22nd May.
On 16th June he visits Mrs Heiberg on Rosenvænget for the first time. She entertains him with stories of supernatural phenomena that she herself had experienced.

19 June

Off to Glorup (arriving 21st, visiting Mrs Ingemann in Sorø on the way and overnighting in Korsør). At Glorup:

"...which I have always found to be a hospitable home", the garden was "as if transformed to a thing of beauty since I was here last. The old French portion was embellished with a fountain, which spouted a thick jet of water as high as the great trees; the newer part was transformed to an English park with delightful groups of trees"
(in the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life).

Outings from Glorup to Mullerup and Hesselagergård.

7 July

Departs from Glorup, travelling via Nyborg-Korsør and Korsør-Århus to Friisenborg.

8th - 19th July

At Friisenborg, where he is the guest of Count C.E. Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs and Countess Thyra (the count later becomes prime minister). Amongst the other guests are the painter Thorald Læssøe (son of HCA's old motherly friend Signe Læssøe) and his wife Emy, who is the sister of the estate owner.
HCA does paper-cuttings and is photographed. Has a long discussion about religion with the countess (16th).

19 July

Via Århus-Korsør to Basnæs.

1863: Boredom and Ovation

5 August

To Skælskør, from there to Slagelse and by train to Roskilde. Stays with Dean Søren Ortwed until the 10th.

10 August

Return to Copenhagen, where boredom sets in almost immediately. Boredom is, on the whole, a significant factor during the last 10-15 years of his life, as a result of his declining literary activity. HCA is the type of writer who is very dependent on inspiration, and this seemed to present itself less often, or was more difficult to come by, during the later years, cf. the story two years later called "Lygtemændene ere i Byen, sagde Mosekonen" (The Will-o'-the-Wisps are in Town).
This boredom partly explains the restless travel activity and the rushing around to all manner of events, whenever he finally is at home. Together with actual illness, concern about the way society was developing and the national crises, HCA's boredom during these years is also part of the reason why he experiences an mounting feeling of desperation, weariness of life, hypochondria and emotional unbalance.
Another likely factor contributory to this state of ill health is his growing consumption of alcohol, which is, however, also related to sexual frustrations. After a period of relative balance, the issue of repressed sexuality once again surfaces as a distressing factor.
HCA's considerable consumption of wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages is presumably highly significant for the cancer of the liver that was diagnosed as the cause of his death.


Starts to frequent the home of the Melchior family, who he had met earlier on several occasions and also corresponded with.
The friendship with the ballet dancer Harald Scharff subsides:

"Scharff's infatuation for me is now over, 'now the glance of the hero is enchanted by some other object'. I am not actually saddened by this, as was the case earlier with similar disappointments"
(the diary, 27th August).

13 September

Writes in the diary on the 13th:

"Eating and drinking are what I note as that which gives cohesion, unity. Gone are the spirit and freshness of youth", and on 16th: "I am not satisfied with myself. I can not stand the loneliness, am tired of life and living".

Regarding Scharff, HCA notes after a visit from him on 13th November 1865, after HCA has returned home from Sweden: "he is a butterfly, fluttering about in sympathy".

19 September

Attends the 3rd anniversary of the New Workers' Association. Here he receives an ovation for his readings. Feels embarrassed by the ovation:

"thought about all my human weaknesses and felt it was all almost a joke"
(the diary, same day).

10 October

Reads aloud for the Workers' Association.

12 October

Attends a funeral at Vartov Church, where Grundtvig delivers the sermon. HCA likes his long "poetic" psalm more than his sermon.

16 October

Sees the new central railway station for the first time (the diary: "all was foreign to me; I felt I was far from home"). Also sees the new district general hospital.

21 October

Reads aloud for the first time in the new building for the Students' Association (500 spectators).

4 November

Reads aloud again for the Students' Association.

1863: The Travel Book; I Spanien (In Spain)

6 November

Reads aloud at a combined literary-musical event at the Students' Association. On 19th November, HCA joins the Students' Association and then goes there daily, in order to combat boredom by reading newspapers, sometimes also dining at the restaurant there.

9 November

Release of I Spanien (In Spain).

12 November

At a dinner at the Collins', HCA meets Mathilde Fibiger, alias Clara RaphaÎl, ("she has such a pained expression, looks so starved", the diary).

15 November

Frederik VII dies. HCA feels very sad and depressed: "I feel ill, spiritually and bodily run down" (from the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life).


During the funeral preparations for Frederik VII, signs of war with Germany surface once again. HCA is very depressed:

"The situation looks very bleak. It is as though Denmark faces her final hour. All I can think of is war or rebellion, my spirits are troubled: one hears empty political speeches. I picture my few savings disappearing, see myself begging in my old age [...] It's all over for Denmark, and for the existence of my happiness - the night of death draws near"
(the diary, 12th).

Officially - as seen in the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life) - HCA describes the situation as follows:

"I still believed that God would provide deliverance, but fear and pain would often strike down in my heart; never before had I felt so intensely how deeply attached I was to my country. Not that I forgot how much love, recognition and friendship had been extended to me in Germany, how dear to me my many friends there were, but now a drawn sword had been wedged between us. I do not forget the good deeds and friends, but my home-land is like my mother; she is and always will be number one.
How heavily everything did weigh on my heart! I was suffering and thought I could not bear it. Never before had Christmas seemed so dark and heavy as in that year".


"Digte af H.C. Andersen" (Poems by HCA), poems from Spain are printed in Nye Digte af danske Digtere (New Poems by Danish Poets) released by Chr. Winther. HCA's friends are shocked by the sensuality of the poems.

23 December

Travels to Basnæs Estate, where Carl Bernhard arrives on New Years Eve. On the thresh-hold of the new year, HCA is feeling very despondent about his own and Denmark's situation.
On this matter he comments in the continuation of Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life):

"At the turn of the year, on New Years Eve, I stood fearful at the thought of what the coming year would bring. God was the great power in which I placed my trust; he would not let go of Denmark".

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