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


2 July

Revises his testament. Notes down various minor sums which are to be distributed immediately after his death.

5 July

Has not been able to sleep, due to a poem which he has in his mind ("Fyn og Schweiz" (Funen and Switzerland); it is also a poem about the extremes in his life and about death). Dictates it to Mrs Melchior. The poem is published post-humously in December in Karl Schmidt's Julebog 1875 (Christmas Book 1875) (Odense).


During this period of severe illness, HCA lies dictating sporadic memories of "loose" women and of women who had made themselves available to him. Amongst the comments he dictates to the diary are sentences such as;

"Often so little strength while dying that through our smallest nerve it is entirely ebbing out. It leads to a clarity, which also gives light" (23rd July).
"Every 6th breaking wave from the sea is to be smaller, yet a breaker all the same, and so it is with thought"
(24th July).

HCA is not at all coherent in the last few weeks of his life, and often not conscious.

4 August

HCA dies at five minutes past eleven. The cause of death is registered as cancer of the liver.
The magazine-illustrator Knud Gamborg draws HCA on his deathbed. This drawing is used to produce a highly embellished and idealised woodcut, which is printed in Illustreret Tidende. The drawing shows the deceased HCA alone, while the woodcut shows the dying HCA surrounded by the Melchior family.

11 August

The funeral service for HCA is held at Copenhagen's cathedral "Vor Frue Kirke", (The Church of Our Lady). The king and crown prince are present. Speeches are made by Archdeacon C. Rothe and Bishop C.T. Engelstoft from Odense. HCA's own song, "Som Bladet, der fra Træet falder" (Like The Leaf, Falling From The Tree) is sung, and at the end; "Sov du trætte Barn, sov sødt,/aldrig ængstet mer og saaret" (Sleep, weary child, sleep tight/never again frightened and wounded), written by Carl Ploug for the occasion.
HCA was buried at the cemetery "Assistens Kirkegård" in a plot which Edvard Collin had picked out for HCA, himself and his wife Henriette. HCA was therefore buried in the western portion of the plot and the monument was erected there. Edvard dies in 1886 and Henriette 1894, but their headstone is later (1914) moved to the Collins' family burial plot at Frederiksberg cemetery, as a controversy had developed in the newspapers about the Collins' treatment of HCA. Edvard and Henriette did however remain where they were buried. But after their headstone had been moved, the plot at Assistens cemetery was changed so that HCA's monument was placed in the middle.
The stone is inscribed with the last 4 lines of HCA's poem "Oldingen" (The Old Man) from 1874:

The soul which God in his image created,
Is incorruptible, can not be lost.
Our life on earth is the seed of eternity,
Our body dies, but the soul can not die!

Search the timetable    ?