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


The illness Continues
Journey to Germany and Switzerland

In this year (presumably in the second half of the year)

Release of Contes Danois traduits pour la première fois par MM. Ernest Grégoire & Louis Moland, illustrés d'après les dessins de M. Yan Dargent. The publishers are Garniers Frères, Paris. Volume II appears in 1875 with an independent title and introduction, the title being Nouveaux Contes Danois. Vol. I includes the later fairy-tales and stories, starting with "Isjomfruen" (The Ice Maiden). Vol. II is a mixture of earlier and later texts.
In the introduction to vol. I, Louis Moland points out that the imagination and the fairy-tales of HCA hide "un sens profond" (a sense of the profound) or "une idée philosophique" (a philosophical point of view) beneath the surface, and that the tales are therefore for both children and adults.
The introduction to vol. I is followed by a presentation of HCA's biography with quotes from Contes de ma vie (i.e. the German autobiography from 1847).
In a letter dated 5th January 1874 to Nicolai Bøgh, HCA writes and comments on the edition that it has been:

"Translated with much feeling; the introduction by Moland is interesting and for me highly flattering. The pictures [...] are distinguished by naturalness and beauty; they are immediately appealing; only my portrait is a failure".

In a letter dated 13th July 1875 to Henriette Collin (in response to vol. II, HCA describes the illustrations as;

"the most beautiful in the world that have ever been given the fairy-tales".

1873: The illness Continues


Still very weak from the illness.

30 January

At the Casino theatre Ole Lukøie (Wee Willie Winkie) is performed for the 50th time (now in a new production).

January - February

Of the younger poets during this period, HCA reads Ernst von der Recke with scepticism and Thomas Lange with interest. Thomas Lange visits HCA on 23rd February, as he has heard that HCA had enjoyed his latest book, Romantiske Skildringer (Romantic Sketches) while he was ill.

16 February

Receives a visit from Crown Prince Frederik.

23 February

King Christian IX and Prince Valdemar visit HCA, wanting to hear how he is feeling.

26 February

Based on the pain, HCA becomes aware that he probably has some kind of problem with his liver. (His doctor, Theodor Collin, thinks, however, it is "wind in the major intestine" and prescribes a laxative and camomile tea (the diary)).
At this time HCA is otherwise preparing for a journey to Switzerland.

3 March

Reitzel estimates that HCA will have received 4,000 rdl. by the end of the year (the correct amount is 3,000) for the latest collection of fairy-tales. In spite of this, HCA by no means believed that he was well off. On the contrary, he is convinced that he must, as expressed in the diary on 4th:

"continue to live with calculation, in order to get by till the end"

[i.e. must be very economic in order to survive].
Edvard Collin is busy in the following period of time negotiating a favourable deal with Lars Johan Hiertas Bokhandel (Booksellers) in Stockholm. Hierta would like to release a complete Swedish edition of the tales and stories,

"typographically embellished and at a low price".

He offers HCA a fee of 500 rdl.

18 March

HCA now has a new set of dentures fitted, after having lost the last tooth on 19th January. Since then he had been completely without teeth.

2 April

On his birthday, HCA receives a visit from the crown prince. In the following week, he moves out of his apartment and stays for two days at Hotel Royal, before the trip to Switzerland.

1873: Journey to Germany and Switzerland

11 April

A visit to Amalienborg Castle before the journey. HCA comments on this in a letter (unpublished) dated 23rd April to Mrs Scavenius at Basnæs Estate:

"Their majesties were so exceptionally thoughtful and kind that I did not have to climb the steep stairways, the whole family had gathered on the ground floor, the king, the queen, the crown prince and his wife, their two little children, as well as Princess Thyra and Prince Valdemar. When I left, the king gave me a present; his own travel bag, the one he had used the year before last. And what's more, when I was sitting at home in the evening packing, I was surprised to receive yet another visit from the king, he had wanted to see me once more before my departure; Prince Valdemar and Prince Hans accompanied him. I was deeply moved by the kindness of our noble, dear king".

14 April

Journey to Germany and Switzerland with Nicolai Bøgh. The route taken is Korsør, Fredericia (is greeted with flowers at the station in Odense), Slesvig, Hamburg, Hannover, Kassel, Giessen, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Offenburg, Basel, Bern (arrival 29th April, receives medical attention from the doctor Professor Henri Dor whilst here).

1st - 4th May

In Vevay.

4th - 11th May

In Vernex.

11th May - 1st June

In Glion. Does not receive medical attention and a therapeutic cure as planned.

1st - 6th June

In Geneva, staying with Jules Jürgensen.

6 June

The trip continues: via Fribourg to Bern (sees the doctor Professor Henri Dor once more). Then on to Interlaken, Giessbach and Luzern to Brunnen.

17th - 27th June

In Brunnen. Outings from here to Flüelen, Altorf and Axelstein.

27 June

On through Rapperswühl, Ragatz (from here an outing to Pfäffers), Chur, Reichenau, Andeer, Splügen, then a side-trip into Italy: Chiavenna, Maloja, Silvaplana, back via St. Moritz, Samaden (from here an outing to the Roseg Glacier), then across the Albula-pass and Bergün to Alveneu, Chur, Rorschach, Lindau, Augsburg and Munich.

12th - 16th July

In Munich. Visits Kaulbach daily while here.

16 July

To Nuremberg, on through Bamberg, Meiningen, Eisenach, Kassel and Hannover to Hamburg.

22nd - 25th July

In Hamburg.

25 July

From Hamburg via Slesvig, Middelfart and Korsør to Copenhagen. HCA hardly has the strength to drag himself along on this final leg of the journey. Is very dependent on Nicolai Bøgh for help.

28 July

Back in Copenhagen. Moves in at Rolighed (the home of the Melchior family), where he stays till 9th September. Ill and weak.

9 September

Back in the rooms at Nyhavn no. 18, although now with the Misses Ballin as landladies. Has a night nurse for a period, but is then able to get up and about once more. He is aware, however, of the direction in which he is headed. Notes in the diary on 1st November:

"Extremely alone and suffering [...] I will never be well again, and death is drawn out; I long for death and yet fear it".

14 November

Election day. HCA is troubled by the success of the "revolutionary" men of the "Venstre" party (farmers agitating for influence).

17 November

Wins 500 rdl. in the lottery (has been whining for years about the lack of a windfall from the lottery, although he has had a small win earlier).


Cuts pictures from English magazine booklets sent to him by Reitzel. The pictures are to be used for a folding screen.

24 December

Christmas Eve is spent in the apartment in Nyhavn with Erik Lassen Oksen, a student of theology. HCA had in fact anticipated;

"a quiet evening, with no Christmas tree or visitors - yes, if only my muse would surprise me with a visit, after all this time, now that would be a surprise! But she does not come"
(letter to Henriette Collin, 23rd)

Oksen and Matthias Weber (another student of theology) also celebrate New Year's Eve with HCA.

Search the timetable    ?