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Hans Christian Andersen : The Twelve Months of the Year. Drawn by Ink and Pen
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Hans Christian Andersen : The Twelve Months of the Year. Drawn by Ink and Pen

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Aarets tolv Maaneder. Tegnede med Blæk og Pen (The Twelve Months of the Year. Drawn by Ink and Pen) (Copenhagen 1833. The book appeared 18 December 1832).

Hans Christian Andersen dedicated the book to King Frederik VI and handed it to him personally at the same time mentioning his need for funds in order to being able to undertake the "grand European tour", the classical educational travel down through Europe to Italy.

Andersen got no immediate response to his wishes, but had to wait for an opportunity in competition with other poets and artists also applying for funds from the King's foundation ad usus publicos. But in April 1833 Andersen could finally set out on his grand tour, from which he didn't return until 3 August 1834. The result of this educational travel was his first and very successful novel Improvisatoren/ The Improvisatore (Dan.: 1835, German: 1835, English: 1845, Russian: 1845, French: 1847, etc.).

Aarets tolv Maaneder tegnede med Blæk og Pen is a genre hybrid: a lyrical-dramatic work of originally 126 pages, more like a collection of poems than like a drama, although there is some dialogue in it. One of the texts is the (in Denmark) very wellknown Christmas song: "Barn Jesus i en Krybbe laae", which is part of "December". (Robert Schumann created piano music for this song. On his travel 1866 Andersen in Bordeaux heard a pianist called Erneste Redon in a private circle play this music, by Andersen mentioned as "La Noel" (Andersen's diary for Thursday, April 19, 1866)).

The first reprint ever of this book will appear in a collection of Hans Christian Andersen's Samlede digte, edited by Johan de Mylius. Scheduled for publication appr. September 2000 at Aschehoug Publishers, Copenhagen.