The Hans Christian Andersen Center

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


Death of Oehlenschlger
Succes at the Casino Theatre
Drewsens Industrial Venture

1850: Death of Oehlenschlger

7 January

Release of En Nat i Roskilde. (One Night in Roskilde. Vaudeville-Comedy in one Act. Adapted from Warin and Lefevre's 'une chambre deux lits'. (French title: A Room with Two Beds).

20 January

Oehlenschlger dies at eleven pm, "approximately the same time (and day) as Christian VIII" (cf the almanac).

26 January

HCA's dirge (song of mourning), "Farvel, Du strste Skjald i Norden" (Farewell Thou Greatest of Nordic Poets), with music by Weyse is sung when the funeral procession makes a halt at Oehlenschlger's place of birth in Vesterbrogade. The song is published in the newspaper Berlingske Tidende on the same day, as well as in Fdrelandet and Kjbenhavnsposten.

1850: Succes at the Casino Theatre

2 February

Donna Drewsen and Henrik Stampe are married.

1 March

First performance of Ole Lukie. Eventyr-Comedie i tre Acter (Willie Winkie. Romantic Comedy in Three Acts). H.C. Lumbye, musician at Casino, had composed music for the play, but it was never performed with Lumbye's music.
This play was the first original composition written for the private theatre. As for the reception of the play, HCA says in Mit Livs Eventyr (The Fairy Tale of My Life):

"The play continued for many evenings, drew in large numbers and was greatly esteemed by the people, the common man, as one calls those who are poor; from them I harvested an appreciation greater than that which could be given by any magazine critic or dialectic 'would-be philosopher' [a reference to supporters of the Heiberg-Hegelian school]. One evening towards the end of the play, a poor craftsman stood with tears in his eyes, and as we walked out of the door together, he reached for my hand and said: "Thank you, Poet Mr Andersen, it was a wonderful comedy!" Those words meant more to me than the best of reviews".

In a time of war, the play advocated a simple and comforting philosophy: "Health and cheerfulness in addition/ that's the worthiest treasure you can get".
The song "Hvor Skoven dog er frisk og stor" (How refreshing and great the woods are) originates from the play and became immensely popular.
The play was no less of a crowd-pleaser due to a renowned Spanish dancer named Pepita, who performed some of the dances.
The popularity of the play caused Erik Bgh and Kristian Arentzen to write a parody: Mer end nok eller Ole Lukie. (More than Enough or Willie Winkie)

HCA's Ole Lukie (Willie Winkie) was performed a total of 117 times at Casino.

5 March

"Danmark, mit Fdreland" (Denmark, My Native Land) is printed in the newspaper 'Fdrelandet' (The Fatherland).

8 March

Ole Lukie (Willie Winkie) is released as a book.

13 March

Release (as a book) of the play: Den nye Barselsstue. Originalt Lystspil i een Act (The New Lying- in Room).

1850: Drewsens Industrial Venture

8 May

The Scandinavian Society, a male choir directed by the composer Henrik Rung, gives a concert at Casino in support of the monument which is to mark the battle of Fredericia. Part one of the concert opens with HCA's "Denmark, my Native Land", accompanied by Rung's music, which on this occasion was performed publically for the first time. The second item was also a HCA text, "Sang til en langelandsk Melodi" (Song to a Melody from Langeland) ("Hun mig har glemt! Min Sorg hun ei see!" (She has forgotten me! My grief she does not see!)). The song was printed for the first time in the programme for this concert.

17 May

Departs for Sor. While staying with the Ingemanns, HCA visits Chr. Hviid Bredahl, a farmer and poet. From Sor he continues via Rrby to Kalundborg, and from there with the steam-ship 'Lolland' to rhus. In Kalundborg "a simple man [common] called out my name as I walked by his house ('The poet Andersen')" (diary entry, 25th May).

From rhus he continues to Silkeborg (arrival 26th May), where he is welcomed by the Drewsens. (The eldest daughter of Collin, Ingeborg, was married to Adolph Ludwig Drewsen. Michael Drewsen, the son of Adolph's half-brother, was a paper manufacturer and the founder of Silkeborg town). HCA sees the area and the new town. During an outing to the ridge, a scenic viewing-point is named after HCA: "Andersen's Highland", and a bench is placed on this spot. During the stay in Silkeborg, HCA reads the novels by Blicher.

Continues on 6th June via Horsens to Vejle, where he visits Orla Lehman. In Fredericia he views the fortifications. Travels on to Odense (9th June), where Emil Aarestrup visits him (Aarestrup was attending church when HCA paid him a visit). On the following day they lunch together, discuss poetry and cut out paper dolls for the youngest.

Goes to Glorup Estate on 10th June, where Danish soldiers are billeted. Visits Lykkesholm Estate. Is irritated by both the countess and the guests at Glorup:

"How ghastly it is to hear the empty-mindedness of the high-born, talking emphatically and off-handedly about everything. Ignorance, stupidity! [...] Oh swaggering foolishness, with bearing" (the diary, 20th June).

Visits Hesselagergrd Estate, where he feels ill at ease when he sees the portraits of the Duke of Augustenborg and the Prince of Nr "plastered on the walls of the lavatory" (the diary, 22nd).

24 June

Outing to Frrup Kildemarked (a marketplace or country fair which HCA had described in chapter VIII of Kun en Spillemand (Only a Fiddler).In the diary he explains that:

"It took place right on the highway; stall after stall, filled with people, we could hardly get through, our horses were about to collide with many a stall. Coffee was brewed, smoke from the peat and the smell of bad tobacco made the air suffocating. - Tables of fried eel stood there in all the dust [...] A miserable vagabond stood by the spring and I got the feeling that he might know who I was, and might say something unpleasant to me; as though I were pariah in the midst of a higher caste".

The fear of being labelled as pariah, or a social outcast, stems directly from the unpleasant exchange of words at Glorup Estate during the previous days. This is also reflected in HCA's above-mentioned complaints about the stupidity of the upper classes.
At Glorup, he works on I Sverrig (In Sweden) and on the folk comedy Hyldemoer (The Elder-Tree Mother). He is, however, feeling depressed because of the war, as is reflected in a letter to Jette Wulff dated 4th July:

"The forest is still so fresh, so young - unlike me - it is a pleasant time while it still feels like I am flying forward - I feel that my flight has halted; there lies gunpowder, there go heavy arsenal trucks along the highway of life. The garden of poetry becomes cobbled - yes, oh yes! I do not doubt the general progress of the world, but our lives are a transitory point, that is, neither meat nor fish, and therefore a heavy burden to bear -"

5 July

Receives news of the peace settlement from 2nd July in Berlin.

H.C. rsted sends HCA part two of his Aanden i Naturen (The Spirit of Nature), which HCA reads. Visits rbklunde Estate, where Swedish soldiers are billeted.

13 July

Fighting with the rebels of Slesvig-Holsten breaks out again. Hears (on 27th July) of the taking of Slesvig town and that Frederik Lsse has fallen at Isted ("thought well of him, our time of youth" in the diary).

5 August

Departs from Glorup Estate. Travels via Svendborg, then by ship to Gaabense and from there by coach to Corselitze. Leaves again on 18th August. Along the way, he overnights at the home of Bishop D.G. Monrad, where he meets the poet Chr. Winther and his wife.

22 August

Return to Copenhagen.

12 September

HCA's "sisterly girlfriend", Henriette Wulff, departs on an almost one-year journey to the West Indies aboard the brig 'Mercurius', which her brother Christian had just been made commander of.

Late September

HCA sits 4 times for Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann. Her oil-painting of him is completed during the next few months (and not as Ejner Johansson writes; at the end of the summer).

7 November

H.C. rsted's 50th jubilee at the university is celebrated. The state awards him with the honorary residence of Oehlenschlger, "Fasangrden" as a life-time home. HCA takes part in the celebrations and has penned a motto for a portrait of rsted which is based on a painting by Gertner. The final lines of the motto are:

"And through all the beauty in truth
To God you lead us, with an open view!"

[The expression "an open view" refers to the fact that for rsted - as for HCA himself - it was possible to draw nearer to God by using one's intellect].

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