H.C. Andersen

Who does not know the fairy tales such as “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid” and “The Tinderbox”, all written by Hans Christian Andersen, a writer renowned across the world? Andersen even as a very young man was a visitor to Bakkehuset and today in the museum one can experience the same atmosphere that inspired Andersen himself. Andersen described Kamma and Knud Lyne Rahbek in his memoirs. In these he recounts that Kamma Rahbek had welcomed him warmly. At one point Andersen read some of his, as yet unpublished manuscripts to his host at Bakkehuset. According to Andersen’s own account Kamma Rahbek was the first to confer upon him the title of "poet". This finally convinced him to make poetry his calling in life. Andersen wrote two tragedies in 1822, “The Robbers of Vissenberg” and “Alfsol”, he submitted these anonymously to the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. Knud Lyne Rahbek was actually a director at the theatre and he declined to stage the pieces. Despite this, Andersen's encounter with Rahbek and the Royal Theatre was a turning point in his life. Rahbek, along with his colleague Jonas Collin, recognised Andersen's talent as a writer and they encouraged him to study further. Andersen later completed grammar school and graduated in 1828. In 1829 he made his debut as a writer with the story "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager in the years 1828 and 1829”. Later he began to write the fairy tales that would make him world famous.

Read more about Danish literature in the Golden Age.