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Hans Christian Andersen – FAQ
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Hans Christian Andersen – FAQ

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Hans Christian Andersen's dinner "rotation" system

- During periods of his life, Hans Christian Andersen had a regular rotation system with regard to where he dined throughout the week. It was a custom which began when he was young and poor, but which with time became a tradition.

1827 the rotation looked like this:

Mondays at Commander Wulff's, Tuesdays with the Collins, Wednesdays with G.H. Olsen, a member of the board of the theatre, Thursdays with Friederike Müffelmann (a widow whose sister, Martha, had been housekeeper for the Meislings in Slagelse, while Andersen went to school there), Fridays with H.C. Ørsted and Saturdays with Jonathan Balling (warehouse-keeper at the Greenland Trade Department). Andersen reserved Sundays for himself, as he was often invited out.

1838 the rotation looked like this (see letter to Henriette Hanck of 27 April):

"My dinners are Mondays with Mrs. Bügel, where we always dine as if it was a grand party. Tuesdays with the Collins, where the eldest son and his wife [Gottlieb Collin married to Augusta Petzholdt] also dine this day and therefore we are given something special. Wednesdays with Ørsted, who always receives guests on this day. Thursdays again with Mrs. Bügel, Fridays with the Wulffs, where Weyse always comes and improvises after dinner; Saturday is my day off, I dine where I am invited or at Farini's [= Ferrini, a restaurant]. Sundays with Mrs. Læssøe or in the Students' Association, if I do not feel up to the long walk [to Østerbrogade, where Mrs. Læssøe lived in a house by the lake, close to the present Willemoesgade]. Now, that is the order of the week!"

In the 1860's the rotation looked like this:

Mondays with Edvard and Henriette Collin in Dronningens Tværgade. Tuesdays with A.L. Drewsen and his wife Ingeborg, née Collin, in Rosenvænget. Wednesdays with H.C. Ørsted's widow, Inger Birgitte Ørsted, who with her daughter Mathilde lived in the old dyeworks, Vestergade 28. Here he dined at 4 p.m. and left at half past 5, because he was going to the theatre. Thursdays with the Melchior family. Fridays with Mrs. Ida Koch. Saturdays with Louise de Neergaard, née Olsen (the wife of a chamberlain, who, however, died as early as 1866). Sundays with the Henriques family.