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printImage of Drawings made by Andersen on his journey to Turkey in 1841

Hans Christian Andersen, the traveller

‘Oh, to travel, to travel! If only one could spend one’s life fluttering about! I feel as if the world is my home and I shall, I must, frolic about in that home.’ Mitt Livs Eventyr

Andersen was unusual among his contemporaries, in that he spent an astonishing nine years outside Denmark. His experiences provided the background for some of his novels and for several factual accounts.

Although he travelled as far as Constantinople his greatest loves remained Italy, inspiration for his first novel, and Germany, where he first became famous. The huge success of his tales in Britain also prompted visits in 1847 and 1857 – during the latter he stayed at Charles Dickens’ house for five weeks!

Enlarged image Image of Stage with ballerinas, papercut by Andersen Enlarged image
Image of Drawings made by Andersen on his journey to Turkey in 1841   Image of Draft letter to Dickens (29 August 1847)
Drawings made by Andersen on his journey to Turkey in 1841
Copyright © Det Kongelige Bibliotek (Denmark)
  Draft letter to Dickens (29 August 1847).
Copyright © Det Kongelige Bibliotek (Denmark)

This urge to travel was partly driven by his ambivalent attitude to his native country, where he felt he did not receive enough recognition. He never owned a home – living all his life in modest, rented rooms or staying with wealthy patrons and friends.

Map showing places visited by Hans Christian Andersen (PDF format) 96kb

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