From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:
1840Journey in Europe and the Orient.
Release of Comedy Out in the Open Air (En Comedie i det Grønne).
HCA departs on a journey which would last almost one year, returning to Denmark on 13th July 1841. This journey would provide him with background material for En Digters Bazar (A Poet's Bazaar). Before the trip he had read, whilst staying at Hyby Estate in June 1839, Voyage en l'Orient, a book by Lamartine.
Earnings from The Mulatto were to pay for the journey, at least the first part of it. HCA hoped to be paid an equal amount for (sales of) The Moorish Maid (Maurerpigen) (800-1000 rdl.). This anticipated extra income was to finance the journey on to "the Orient".
3 - 4th November
Stays with Conrad Rantzau Breitenburg, count of the estate at Itzehoe.
Visits the poet K.F. Gustzkov (who belongs to the radical "young Germany") in Hamburg and hears Franz Liszt play at a concert.
Pays a visit to the publisher Vieweg in Braunschweig.
10 November 1840
Travels by train for the first time. The trip from Magdeburg to Leipzig (approx. 110 km) lasted from 7 am till approx. 10.30 am. This is the train trip HCA describes in his famous passage in En Digters Bazar (A Poet's Bazaar) , namely the chapter "The Railway". Here he calls the railway "a master piece of the mind and says that he has now:
"...with all my consciousness, seen God face to face, as it were, [....]. Emotion and imagination are not the only rulers within the realm of poetry. They have a brother, equally powerful, called intellect"
Seeks out Mendelsohn-Batholdy during a rehearsal of Beethoven's Symphony no. 7. in Gewandhaus. Dinner with the Brockhaus family (the publisher himself was in Paris).
Visits Fr. Compe, a book seller in Nürnberg.
17th November - 1st December
Staying in München. Spends time with the poet H.P. Holst. Visits the painter Fr.L. Storch for the first time on 17th. Storch was, like HCA, from Funen. Attends a concert on the 21st with the pianist Sigismund Thalberg.
18th - 23rd November
Publication of "Die Seejungfrau" (The little Mermaid) in Magazin für die Literatuer des Auslander (Magazine of Foreign Literature) (Berlin).
26th November - 3rd December
"Die Seejungfrau" is published in Frankfurter konversitionsblatt.
Visits the painter Kaulbach at his studio:
"a pale young man with the face of a genius, but with a tortured look. He knew who I was and shook hands with me tenderly, gave me an explanation in print of his latest work which stood before me, painted on cardboard",
(the diary, same day).
Kaulbach becomes a life long friend of HCA and later creates a widely distributed illustration of HCA's story "Engelen" (The Angel).
Visits the philosopher Schelling.
Departure from Munich. Goes through Innsbruck, Brenner, Bolzano, Verona, Mantova and Bologna to Florence (12-13th December); continues via e.g. Perugia, Assisi, Foligno, Terni, Civita Castellena and Nepi to Rome.
Also in December, release of Billedbog uden Billeder af H.C. Andersen. Ny Samling. Helliget mine svenske Venner (Picture Book without Pictures by Hans Christian Andersen. New Collection. Dedicated to my Swedish Friends), including the evenings 21-30 (no. 22, 24, 25 and 27 had been printed in Denmark earlier in the year). Printed in Hertha, Svensk-Dansk Nyärsgäfva för 1841.
A new Swedish collection of HCA's fairy-tales is released in Lekkamraten (the shared title of several booklets, first issued in December 38, published by L.J. Hierta). Additional booklets are released before Christmas 1841 and 1842 (the last one including "Den lille Havfrue" (The little Mermaid), which HCA had recommended to Hierta, in a letter dated 16th April 1839, as a fairy-tale which would be more suitable for Hierta's Läse-Bibliothek, as it was "intended more for adults".
In this month there is also the publication of Johan Ludvig Heiberg's Nye Digte (New Poems), in which HCA's dramatic writing is labelled as fit for the theatre in hell. (in: A Soul after Death (En Sjæl efter Døden).
Maurerpigen (The Moorish Maid. Original Tragedy in Five Acts) is staged at the Royal Theatre (performed 3 times in total). HCA's earnings from this fiasko amount to just 300 rdl, rather than the expected 800-1000. HCA is therefore obliged to apply to the king for extra travel grants from the fund ad usus publicos, so as to be able to reach Constantinople.
Mrs Heiberg had refused to play the lead role in The Moorish Maid, and Heiberg himself had been against the play being accepted at all. On this occasion, HCA has a falling out with the Heibergs. And it was Heiberg who had introduced HCA to the literary scene in the late 1820's.
Maurerpigen (The Moorish Maid) is released as a book.
19th December - 24th February 1841