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printImage of Constantin Hansen's portrait of Jonas Collin in 1831Image of Mary Howitt portrait

Timeline of Hans Christian Andersen's life

1805 Born in Odense, Denmark, on 2 April.

1816 Death of his father, Hans Andersen.

1819 Moves to Copenhagen to seek his fortune on the stage; supported by sponsors including the composer C.E.F. Weyse.

1822 Attends Slagelse Grammar School, his funding arranged by philanthropist Jonas Collin.

1827 Moves back to Copenhagen to study for university matriculation.

First poem, 'The Dying Child', published in Copenhagen Post.

1829 First book, the comic fantasy A Walking Tour from the Holmen Canal to the Eastern Point of the Amager, published.

First play, Love at St Nicholas' Tower, performed at Copenhagen's Royal Theatre.

1831 Travels to Germany and publishes Shadow Pictures about his journey.

1832 Writes first autobiography, 'The Book of My Life', to show the Collin family; it is not intended for publication.

Courts Louise Collin, the daughter of Jonas, and befriends her brother Edvard, the true object of his love.

Enlarged image Image of The Jenny Lind Mania, music hall song Enlarged image
Image of Constantin Hansen's portrait of Jonas Collin in 1831   Image of The Jenny Lind Mania, music hall song
Constantin Hansen, portrait of Jonas Collin in 1831.
Copyright © Hirschrprungske Samling, Denmark
  The Jenny Lind Mania, music hall song.
Copyright © The British Library Board

1833-34 Travels to Germany, Paris, Switzerland and Italy on a tour of cultural formation.

1833 Death of his mother, Anne Marie Andersdatter.

1835 First novel, The Improvisatore, published.

First volume of Eventyr fortalte for Born (Fairy tales, told for Children) published on 8 May; a second volume appears in December.

1836 O.T., a novel subtitled Life in Denmark, appears.

1837 Third volume of fairy tales containing 'The Little Mermaid' and 'The Emperor's New Clothes' published.

Third novel Only a Fiddler published.

1838 Awarded annual grant of 400 rigsdaler (about £4,000 equivalent today) by the King of Denmark.

New volume of tales including 'The Steadfast Tin Soldier' published - his first story with no folk-tale source.

First translations of his fairy tales into German.

1840 The Mulatto performed at the Royal Theatre.

1840-41 Travels to Italy, Greece and Constantinople, a journey described in A Poet's Bazaar (1842).

1843 Falls in love with the singer Jenny Lind.

Has brief affair with a Danish aristocrat, Henrik Stampe.

New Fairy Tales , including 'The Ugly Duckling', 'The Nightingale' and 'The Top and the Ball', published.

1844 Travels to Weimar and forms close friendship with Carl Alexander, the principality's Hereditary Grand Duke.

'The Snow Queen' and 'The Fir Tree' published.

1845 'The Little Match Girl' published.

1846 Travels across Germany and Italy.

Writes his second autobiography, The True Story of My Life, to be published as a foreword to the German edition of his collected works.

First English translations of his works, by Mary Howitt.

Enlarged image Image of Charles Dickens portrait by Frederic George Kitton Enlarged image
Image of Mary Howitt portrait   Image of Charles Dickens portrait by Frederic George Kitton
Portrait of Mary Howitt
Copyright © Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  Portrait of Charles Dickens by Finden, after D. Maclise, from The Life & Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
British Library 012612.i.8 frontispiece
Copyright © The British Library Board

1847 Visits England and meets Charles Dickens.

A Christmas Greeting to my English Friends, containing five fairy tales, published.

1848 The Two Baronesses, a patriotic novel written after the Danish-Prussian war, published.

1851 Pictures of Sweden, a travel book, published.

1852 Stories, his first volume of fairy tales for four years, published.

1855 Third autobiography, The Fairy Tale of My Life, published.

1857 Revisits England and stays with Charles Dickens.

To Be or Not To Be published

1858-59 Four volumes of New Tales and Stories, all experimenting with new styles of story-writing and no longer intended for children, published

1862-63 Affair with Harald Scharff, ballet dancer at the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen

1867 Awarded the Freedom of the City of Odense

1872 Final volume of stories, including 'Auntie Toothache', published

Suffers first symptoms of liver cancer

1874 Becomes a Privy Councillor for Copenhagen

1875 Andersen dies on 4 August in Copenhagen

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Hans Christian Andersen's childhood in Odense
Hans Christian Andersen's childhood in Odense
Hans Christian Andersen, the outsider
Hans Christian Andersen, the outsider
Hans Christian Andersen, the struggle to belong
Hans Christian Andersen, the struggle to belong
Genius of Hans Christian Andersen
Genius of Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen, the traveller
Hans Christian Andersen, the traveller
Admiration for Hans Christian Andersen
Admiration for Hans Christian Andersen
Timeline of Hans Christian Andersen's life
'Hans Christian Andersen' by Jackie Wullschlager (PDF format) 169kb
'Hans Christian Andersen' by Jackie Wullschlager (PDF format) 169kb
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