1870Lykke-Peer (Lucky Peter)
In Copenhagen, where he lodges once more in the two small rooms, nr. 66, at Hotel d'Angleterre.
An outing to Hellebæk, where he visits the Collins' as well as Hauch in his new house. Because he always catches a cold on the way to this area, he proposes - in a humorous letter to Henriette Collin - that Hellebæk be renamed as:
"The Fever Coast, the roadstead of coffin ships, the windy corner, the sustenance of doctors, the Greenland of Zealand [...] I expunge my entire wrath over the area and its open transportation".
9th - 19th July
Staying with the Henriques at Petershøj. Finishes work on Lykke-Peer (Lucky Peter) whilst here.
War breaks out between France and Prussia.
19th July - 19th September
With the Melchiors at Rolighed. Receives a visit here from;
"a young Swedish student named Warburg from Götheborg, whom I had given my portrait card" (has read aloud from Lykke Peer to him and the others).
The student is the later professor of literary history Karl Warburg. The visit takes place on 26th July, and Karl Warburg visits HCA once again on 31st August 1871 in Göteborg, when HCA is on the way to Norway. Whilst in Göteborg, he also socializes with Karl Warburg's brother, Consul Warburg and his family.
Signe Læssøe dies. HCA attends her funeral on 30th.
9th - 10th august
Reads Lykke-Peer (Lucky Peter) aloud for Mrs Heiberg and her three foster daughters. Mrs Heiberg is pleased to note that the work contains an element of fairy-tale, but feels that Wagner's music is referred to too positively.
The first contact with Henrik Ibsen. HCA reads Peer Gynt before the meeting:
"It's as if it were written by a mad poet, one becomes disturbed oneself if one wishes to live in this book; The verses aren't good either, there's something quite sick about the whole thing. I regret having read it, as Ibsen is coming here tonight for the first time, I've never met him, he's known as a silent and dark fellow. After dinner he arrived with Bloch and made a good impression. He was well-spoken and polite, we all liked him"
(the diary, same day).
HCA reads stories aloud for Ibsen after dinner on 21st, also Lucky Peter . Ibsen supposedly finds it "so poetic" (the diary).
In a letter to Henriette Collin dated 26th, HCA mentions Ibsen:
"Ibsen the writer came to dinner here at "Rolighed" and was very pleasant, modest and likeable. I like him, but not his work "Peer Gynt", which I have now read; it seems impermissibly insane to me. What is the meaning of it all? Furthermore, the verses are not good and at times far too cynical, for example at the party of the mountain troll".
Reads Lykke Peer for Rasmus Nielsen and "...the young Jacobsen from Carlsberg." [Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg Beer and he himself founder of New Carlsberg]. Rasmus Nielsen is of the opinion that HCA with this work has "cast a new direction, between fairy-tale and novel" (the diary, same day). At this time, HCA is once more dissatisfied with Jonas Collin, who scorns description offered by Rasmus Nielsen and goes on about HCA's preference for strong drinks while they were travelling together..
The Battle of Sedan. In the next few days there are reports of the defeat of the French and the termination of The Empire. The many bloody reports affect HCA a great deal. HCA of course knew the French Emperor and Empress personally, but also felt very badly about the suffering the war had inflicted on both the German and the French people. In a letter to Henriette Collin dated 5th September, HCA writes:
"My new book [ Lucky Peer ] is already at the printers, making it possible to send printed pages to New York as soon as possible, so that they can get it translated and released around New Year; I would probably get more for it were it released there earlier than here at home, but the latter amuses me more. This in spite of the fact that people seem not to favour reading poetic works this year. Quite different great works of a lifetime are now available for study. What a ghastly bloody time this is, the air is filled with the steam of gun-powder and sighs of despair! -"
Orla Lehmann dies.
Moves in to his new lodgings at the Misses Rossings' in Tordenskjoldsgade 17, 1st floor (a pension named Crown Princess Lovisa). He had rented rooms here from 1st September. Already by 5th September he mentions in a letter to Henriette Collin:
"My clothes are already in my new apartment, which does not please me at all, it is far too small and in my lounge there is a door to the neighbours. I have no idea who they are".