From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
HCA's mother dies.
On to Florence, Perugia, Terni and Rome.
Arrival in Rome, where HCA remains until 12th February 1834. In The Fairy Tale of My Life (Mit Livs Eventyr) he describes Rome as follows; "of all the cities in the world, the one where I soon came to feel completely at home".
Meets Thorvaldsen straight away. Thorvaldsen the Dane had lived in Rome since 1797 and was now one of the leading sculptors in Europe and ran large sculptor workshops with many employees. Moreover, Thorvaldsen was at the centre of life in the Scandinavian colony of artists in Rome.
The time spent in Rome turns out to be a great revelation of the visual arts for HCA and influences his own sense of form and colour. Meeting and, after a while, becoming friends with Thorvaldsen would eventually strengthen HCA in his faith in his own worth as an artist, which was fairly weak at this time.
"The Dying Child by Oehlenschläger"(!) is reprinted in the Swedish Magasin för konst, nyheter och moder. It is the same translation as that seen in Götheborgs Dagblad"in August. The poem is accompanied by a picture of a naked child on a mattress in a nature setting, surrounded by a caring mother and an angel. The poem also appears in new translations in 1839, 1847 and 1849.
Henrik Hertz arrives in Rome. HCA, who immediately helps him obtain lodgings and spends a lot of time with him in the next few weeks, is prepared to forget his earlier feelings of hostility towards Hertz, who had ridiculed HCA in his Gjengangerbreve (Ghost Letters).
In fact, they get to be so chummy that they are able to sit and gossip about the theatre and other more lewd and bawdy topics (the diary, 21st December).
8 December 1833
Albert Küchler draws HCA.
Receives a letter from Jonas Collin regarding the death of his mother. Writes about this to Henriette Wulff:
"Her position in life was harsh, and I could do almost nothing for her; this often saddened me at home, but I could never discuss it! Now the Lord has taken her into his care, and for this I am respectfully grateful; it has, however, affected me deeply. Now I really am quite alone, - no longer is any creature bound by nature to love me".
Publication of Agnete og Havmanden. Dramatisk Digt (Agnete and the Merman. Dramatic Poem). Includes two parts: "Agnete at Holmegaard"and "Agnete, the Merman's Wife".
Christmas is celebrated in the garden of Villa Borghese, close to the amphitheatre. Amongst others, HCA is there with "Jensen, the painter of flowers [...] in warm sunshine we strolled, tying garlands and festoons. A great orange tree bearing fruit was our Christmas tree; I was lucky enough to win the best prize, a silver goblet, inscribed 'Christmas Eve in Rome 1833'".
HCA, who had written a song for the occasion, leaves the party early, along with Thorvaldsen, while the remaining guests indulge in liberal amounts of alcohol. HCA comments on this in the diary on 26th January: "All this compatriotism is not a good thing. They have no real interest in each other, the unifying interest is the inn and the food".
Commences writing Improvisatoren (The Improvisatore, or: Life in Italy). Reads the first chapter aloud for the poet Ludvig Bødtcher, who - according to HCA - is pleased with the opening pages of the novel. Plans to finish it with a chapter about Naples, written in Naples.
In the newspaper "Zeitung für die elegante Welt", HCA is introduced by his old friend Fritz Petit, in an article on Danish Literature.