St. Emeran, Ratisbon. November 4, 1847.
My dear Andersen,
This morning your two letters reached me. I was very glad indeed to hear from you; not merely on account of getting an answer to my last to you, but solelyand alone for the pleasure of hearing from you. I do not take amiss your not having written sooner; in my friendship is always much trust and confidence; and I believe, as I most sincerely hope, that your regard for me will in no wise change or diminish. It would cause me much pain were I to think otherwise. - With regard to the Märchen, it is now no matter, for it would be too late for my book, which is to appear at Christmas. I will send you a copy, and I think it will please you. But if you will let me have one for next year, I shall be very thankful. -
I have altered what I wrote in the Preface: now it will be quite right, I think. I have written to the publisher in London, and have told him you will send him back the Preface. Does it not please you? I think it is written just in a style fitting for such tales as yours. Is anything said you dislike? Have you not a copy of the play-bill on which your name first appeared? (Page 44 of Märchen meines Lebens). If so, I wish you would send it to me, or copy it. In the "Stopfnadel" P. 81, how do you understand the words "ich breche"! is it "break" (casser) or "to be sick" (vomit). What was Baggesens Räthsel? With regard to the title of your new novel, I should advice you most decidedly not to choose "Natur und Bibel", not for England at least. The English publishers attach great importance to the titles of books, and think always very much about the matter. Now the one you propose would give every person an idea of your novel very different, I dare say, to what it deserves. Such a title would do no harm in Germany, but in England l am sure it would displease. When I tell you that many, very many, persons did not buy my "Tales of Denmark" because they happened to see in "The Angel" the word "God", and were shocked to find that name in a book of fairy-tales, you will understand that many might find fault at seeing "the Bible" connected with a novel. Moreover, many would be sure to fancy that the book in question was polemical, and some would imagine it deisticai, others perhaps even atheistical. - You may laugh, but I know my countrymen better than you possibly can. When people had read the book, they, of course, would change their opinions: but the first impression would be an unfavourable one, and that I would wish you to avoid. I should wish your name to be connected with pleasing associations only, as has always been the case hitherto. Why not callit "The Baroness", as you once intended?
I will write to Jerdan this very day to give him your message. Where can one get an engraving of the portrait that was done of you while I was in England? You told me it was like.
Perhaps Lorck intends to send me the books when the edition is complete: I will ask him. I shall be very glad to see "Ahasverus".
Does your King read English? I thought of sending him a copy of all my translations of your works, as he takes so much interest in you and in all you do. Shall I?
When you get my book you must tell me how you like it: you must criticize it quite openly and without reserve. I was so delighted that you liked "The Nightingale"; I dwell on the remembrance of that day with undiminished pleasure. Did you see Lockhart again in England? On the accompanying paper be so good to write something - that the books are a present from you - that I may bind it up with your works, when Lorck sends them. Y ouhad better write it in Danish. The Queen of England sent for your tales the other day. - Now, dear Andersen, farewell, and Believe me to be always
yours affectionately and faithfully,
Send the Preface to messrs Grant & Griffith, St. Paul's Churchyard, London.