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


Journey to Germany, Austria and Italy
I was made of chocolate
Serious Illness

1872: Journey to Germany, Austria and Italy

Mid January

Receives word that his school friend from the old days in Odense, Counsellor Peter E. Petersen (also attorney) has passed away in Odense. Describes him as he "who my teacher, Velhaven, thought more of than any of us.

"He became, despite a childhood in poverty, a popular man, Chief Constable, although temporarily appointed, who wrote fine occasional poems. After the celebrations for my honorary citizenship in Odense he produced a whole collection of poetry pertaining to this event. He has kept up with my doings more than I with his, I kept my distance, and now I regret not having been more obliging towards him, not having occasionally sent him one of my books. That would have pleased him, but too late now do I think of it. May my greetings to him be conveyed in thought! I do believe he senses it! Believing is bliss!
(the diary, 15th).


Demolition of Gjethuset commences and hence the rebuilding of the Royal Theatre.


HCA hears about the controversy surrounding Georg Brande's lectures.


Receives a statement of his assets from Edvard Collin. HCA has 19,824 rdl.

4 March

Hauch dies in Rome (is buried in the Protestant cemetery there, where also Keats lies buried).

30 March

Release of Eventyr og Historier. Ny Samling (Tales and Stories. New Edition) , including: ("Lykken kan ligge i en Pind" (Luck May Lie in a Pin), "Kometen" (The Comet), "Ugedagene" (The Days Of the Week ), "Solskins-Historier" (Sunshine Stories), "Oldefa'er" (Great-Grand Father), "Hvem var den Lykkeligste?" (Which Was the Happiest?), "Lysene" (The Candles), "Det Utroligste" (The Most Incredible Thing), "Hvad hele Familien sagde" (What the Whole Family Said), "Dandse, dandse Dukke min!" (Dance, Dance, Doll of Mine!), "Spørg Amagermo'er!" (The Carrot Wedding), "Den Store Søslange" (The Great Sea Serpent), "Gartneren og Herskabet" (The Gardener and the Noble Family" [first print]. HCA receives a sum of 850 rdl. for this collection. The booklets cost 48 sk.

7th - 12th April

At Basnæs Estate, before commencing the journey to Germany, Austria and Italy.

12 April

Departure from Basnæs Estate. Meets up with his travelling companion William Bloch in Korsør. Bloch has been invited on the journey as HCA's guest. William Bloch, who at this point is 27 years old, is the younger brother of the painter Carl Bloch. He is a graduate in law and employed by the Ministry of War and later becomes a stage director.
The travelling companions go to Odense first, where HCA shows William Bloch the old places. For instance the place;

"...where he had stood with his mother in the midst of a crowd of people waiting to see Frederik VI, and had exclaimed, as the king stepped out of the coach: 'Oh - it's just an ordinary person!', whereupon his mother had hushed him: 'Are you out of your mind boy!'
(William Bloch: Paa Rejse med H.C. Andersen (Travelling With HCA) . Released posthumously 1942).

This episode from HCA's childhood is very similar to the closing in "The Emperor's New Clothes" and may indeed be the source of inspiration for the story.
The two companions travel via Hamburg, Hannover, Magdeburg, Leipzig and on to Dresden.

20th - 25th April

In Dresden. Sees his old friends, Mrs Serre and Beaulieu, whilst here.

22 April

HCA and William Bloch visit Henrik Ibsen,

"who lives very modestly. He seemed very pleased to see us, but I actually believe he would rather we had not come to visit him at all"
( Paa Rejse med H.C. Andersen).

25 April

On to Prague (staying there from 25th - 27th), then via Brünn to Vienna.

28th April - 4th May

In Vienna.

4 May

On through Linz, Salzburg, Kufstein, Innsbruck, Bozen and into Italy: Riva at Lake Garda, Desenzano, Venice.

5 May

A major demonstration takes place in a park in Copenhagen ("Slaget på Fælleden"). HCA receives a letter from Mrs Melchior on the 8th, in which he learns;

"of the alarming situation [= rioting, rebellion] with the forceful workers' movement at home" (the diary, 8th).

14th - 17th May

In Venice.

17 May

From Venice to Munich, via Verona, Bozen and Innsbruck.

21st - 25th May

In Munich. Here HCA visits his old acquaintance, the physician-in-ordinary for King Max, Franz Xaver von Gietl and his wife.

25 May

Departs Munich, travelling via Augsburg, Nuremberg (26-29th), Hof, Leipzig, Halberstadt, Braunschweig, Haarburg, Hamburg (3-5th June), then Fredericia to Korsør (where the travelling companions go their separate ways, without much regret on HCA's part, although he does like Bloch). HCA continues to Basnæs Estate.

1872: I was made of chocolate

7th - 13th June

At Basnæs.

13 June

Return to Copenhagen. Goes straight to Roligheden, the Melchior home (stays here till 29th July). On the same day, the Nordic Industrial Exhibition is opened. HCA goes to see it on 17th and notes with regret that his bust is not there with those of the other poets, but:

"I was of chocolate, indeed it was possible to chew on me there."
(the diary, same day).

Carsten Hauch's "testamentary" recommendation of Georg Brandes for a professorship is published in the magazine Nyt Maanedsskrift.

23rd - 25th July

Goes via Elsinore to Hellebæk, where he visits C.St.A. Bille, editor of Dagbladet until 1872, at his family's new country home. Also visits the Collins' and Carl Bloch.

29 July

To the Henriques at Petershøj.

1st and 2nd August

Visits to the Brandes family. Reads his latest stories on 2nd, e.g.;

"Aunty Toothache" [Tante Tandpine] aloud for Georg and Edvard Brandes, their mother and a couple of guests: everyone found "Aunty Toothache" quite amusing, but all three stories were appealing to the young critics"
(the diary, 2nd).

4 August

According to the diary:

"Went for walks and talked quite a bit with Doctor Georg Brandes yesterday and today, today especially about dreams and visions".

(In the last few years, HCA has frequently described his nightmares in the diaries. They are often nightmarish in character).

5th - 20th August

At Rolighed once more.

7 August

Mrs Friederike Serre dies.

14 August

Visits Anna Bjerring at the home of her uncle in the Vesterbro quarter of Copenhagen.

20th August - 2nd September

At Basnæs Estate.

2 September

Return to Copenhagen. HCA now stays in his rooms at Miss Hallager's lodgings in Nyhavn no. 18. Intermittent short stays here and at Rolighed with the Melchiors.

6 September

On this the 53rd anniversary of his arrival in Copenhagen, HCA goes to Tivoli with Scharff. Here he sees that his bust has been mounted:

"within the line of distinguished Danish Men"
(the diary, same day).

9 September

Sends a bust of himself to his old teacher, Carstens, who now lives on Tåsinge, just south of Funen.

11 September

Grundtvig's funeral service is held at the church named "Vor Frelsers Kirke" (The Church of Our Savior). HCA does not attend the funeral, as he is afraid the crowds will be too much for him. But he sees the funeral procession from the apartment of C.St.A. Bille, who lives in Løngangsstræde, just across from Vartov.

22 September

Nicolai Bøgh brings HCA some newspapers from Assens. The paper contains a serial story: a versified interpretation of The Ugly Duckling (Den Grimme Ælling), rewritten by a 14 year old son of a farmer, "who guarded sheep in the field" (the diary, same day). Subsequently, a merchant named Jacob Moresco sees to it that the boy is placed in a school in Copenhagen (equivalent of a grammar school).

12 October

Reads "Hvad gamle Johanne fortalte" (What Old Johanne Told) aloud for Georg Brandes, who would like to review his new collection. (It is reviewed by Edvard Brandes).

18 October

The laying of the foundation stone for the Royal Theatre's new building. HCA is upset that the suppliers for the theatre, the writers and composers, have not been offered seats at this festive event,

"hence precisely they are builders of the new temple!"
(the diary, same day)

1872: Serious Illness

November and December

HCA is very ill. The royal family follow his condition closely, frequently sending greetings and making inquiries, and Crown Prince Frederik visits him. HCA is highly unbalanced during this period of time and feels he is on the brink of insanity.

11 November

HCA's assets amount to 21,000 rdl., of which 15,800 are in a bank account. Yearly interest amounts to 765 rdl.

18 November

Meer end Perler og Guld (More Than Pearls and Gold) is staged at the Casino theatre for the 100th time. This is celebrated with a prologue dedicated to HCA, and the prologue "brings the house down". It is printed on the following day in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. HCA had not felt well enough to go and see the performance, but his doctor, Professor Emil Hornemann, advised him to go along instead of sitting at home and wallowing in self-pity. HCA's young friend William Bloch accompanies him.

23 November

Release of Nye Eventyr og Historier. Tredie Række. Anden Samling (New Tales and Stories. Third Series. Second Installment) including "Hvad gamle Johanne fortalte" (What Old Johanne Told), "Portnøglen" (The Gate Key), "Krøblingen" (The Cripple), "Tante Tandpine" (Aunty Toothache).

24 November

The poem "Drengen og Hundehvalpen" (The Boy and the Puppy) is printed in a magazine for children (Illustreret Børneblad), illustrated with a drawing by Lorenz Frøhlich.


The story "Loppen og Professoren, et Æventyr" (The Flea and the Professor) is printed in a calender (Folkekalender for Danmark for 1873), also illustrated by Lorenz Frøhlich.

9 December

Carl Ploug, poet, politician and editor of the magazine "Fædrelandet" (The Fatherland), delivers a lecture concerning the youth of HCA to the Association of the Non-Commisioned Officers.

24 December

HCA is once more up and about after the period of serious illness. The Melchiors make sure there is a Christmas tree in HCA's apartment in Nyhavn, and they and William Bloch see to it that he has;

"...a lovely Christmas Eve, really, one I had not expected at all"
(the diary).

Across the nation, newspapers have zealously reported on his illness.

27 December

Bournonville's HCA-ballet is taken up once more, in a version shortened to two acts.

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