A Letter Written by Hans Christian Andersen Concerning the First Schleswig-Holstein War, and Andersen’s Stay in England with Charles Dickens

Posted on April 1st, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

On 2 April 1805, Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark.

To mark the day of his birth, we’ve posted below two newspaper reports from the Archive that offer a terrific insight into Andersen’s life, thoughts and character.

The first report comprises a letter that Andersen wrote about the First Schleswig War (i.e. the famous Schleswig-Holstein Question which, according to Lord Palmerston, ‘Only three people…ever really understood’), that took place between the Danes and the Schleswig-Holsteiners (although Prussian and Swedish forces also became involved) from 1848 to 1851.

As many people are only familiar with the wonderful fairy tales that Andersen wrote, it’s fascinating to see this other aspect of his character. The letter also offers a very interesting glimpse of the the mood of the Danish people during the First Schleswig War.

The second story reports on a visit that Andersen made to England, during which he stayed with his friend, Charles Dickens.

historical newspaper report about hans christian andersen

Morning Post – Monday 01 May 1848

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000174/18480501/041/0006

historical newspaper report about hans christian andersen

The Graphic – Saturday 04 September 1875

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000057/18750904/010/0008

historical newspaper report about hans christian andersen

Bury and Norwich Post – Tuesday 11 December 1877

Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000156/18771211/009/0003

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