Queer Places:
Assistens Cemetery Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark

Image result for Hans Christian AndersenHans Christian Andersen, often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children: his stories express themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales, of which no fewer than 3381 works[1] have been translated into more than 125 languages,[2] have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well.[3] Some of his most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling", "Thumbelina", and many others. His stories have inspired ballets, plays, and animated and live-action films.[4] One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards is labeled "H.C. Andersens Boulevard".[5]

In Andersen's early life, his private journal records his refusal to have sexual relations.[22][23]

Andersen often fell in love with unattainable women, and many of his stories are interpreted as references.[24] At one point, he wrote in his diary: "Almighty God, thee only have I; thou steerest my fate, I must give myself up to thee! Give me a livelihood! Give me a bride! My blood wants love, as my heart does!"[25] A girl named Riborg Voigt was the unrequited love of Andersen's youth. A small pouch containing a long letter from Voigt was found on Andersen's chest when he died, several decades after he first fell in love with her, and after he supposedly fell in love with others. Other disappointments in love included Sophie Ørsted, the daughter of the physicist Hans Christian Ørsted and Louise Collin, the youngest daughter of his benefactor Jonas Collin. One of his stories, "The Nightingale", was written as an expression of his passion for Jenny Lind and became the inspiration for her nickname, the "Swedish Nightingale".[26] Andersen was often shy around women and had extreme difficulty in proposing to Lind. When Lind was boarding a train to go to an opera concert, Andersen gave Lind a letter of proposal. Her feelings towards him were not the same; she saw him as a brother, writing to him in 1844: "farewell ... God bless and protect my brother is the sincere wish of his affectionate sister, Jenny".[27]

Andersen certainly experienced same-sex love as well: he wrote to Edvard Collin:[28] "I languish for you as for a pretty Calabrian wench ... my sentiments for you are those of a woman. The femininity of my nature and our friendship must remain a mystery."[29] Collin, who preferred women, wrote in his own memoir: "I found myself unable to respond to this love, and this caused the author much suffering." Likewise, the infatuations of the author for the Danish dancer Harald Scharff[30] and Carl Alexander, the young hereditary duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach,[31] did not result in any relationships.

According to Anne Klara Bom and Anya Aarenstrup from the H. C. Andersen Centre of University of Southern Denmark, "To conclude, it is correct to point to the very ambivalent (and also very traumatic) elements in Andersen's emotional life concerning the sexual sphere, but it is decidedly just as wrong to describe him as homosexual and maintain that he had physical relationships with men. He did not. Indeed that would have been entirely contrary to his moral and religious ideas, aspects that are quite outside the field of vision of Wullschlager and her like."[32] Many instead believe that rather than being heterosexual or homosexual, Andersen had romantic feelings for both genders but probably remained celibate his whole life.

In the spring of 1872, Andersen fell out of his bed and was severely hurt; he never fully recovered from the resultant injuries. Soon afterward, he started to show signs of liver cancer.[33]

He died on 4 August 1875, in a house called Rolighed (literally: calmness), near Copenhagen, the home of his close friends, the banker Moritz Melchior and his wife.[33] Shortly before his death, Andersen had consulted a composer about the music for his funeral, saying: "Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat keep time with little steps."[33] His body was interred in the Assistens Kirkegård in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen, in the family plot of the Collins. However in 1914 the stone was moved to another cemetery (today known as "Frederiksbergs ældre kirkegaard"), where younger Collin family members were buried. For a period, his, Edvard Collin's and Henriette Collin's graves were unmarked. A second stone has been erected, marking H.C. Andersen's grave, now without any mention of the Collin couple, but all three still share the same plot.[34]

At the time of his death, Andersen was internationally revered, and the Danish Government paid him an annual stipend as a "national treasure".[35]


  1. "Centrets vision og mission - H.C. Andersen Centret". andersen.sdu.dk.
  2. Wenande, Christian (13 December 2012). "Unknown Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale discovered". The Copenhagen Post. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  3. Wullschläger 2002
  4. Bredsdorff 1975
  5. Google Maps, by City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen), continues eastbound as the bridge "Langebro"
  6. Rossel 1996, p. 6
  7. Askgaard, Ejnar Stig. "The Lineage of Hans Christian Andersen". Odense City Museums. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012.
  8. Rossel 1996, p. 7
  9. Hans Christian Andersen - Childhood and Education. Danishnet.
  10. "H.C. Andersens skolegang i Helsingør Latinskole". Hcandersen-homepage.dk. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  11. Wullschläger 2002, p. 56.
  12. "Local historian finds Hans Christian Andersen's first fairy tale". Politiken.dk. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  13. "Andersen Festival, Sestri Levante". Andersen Festival. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  14. Christopher John Murray (13 May 2013). Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850. Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 1-135-45579-1.
  15. Jan Sjåvik (19 April 2006). Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater. Scarecrow Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8108-6501-3.
  16. Only a Fiddler from Archive.org
  17. FutureLearn. "Biblical themes in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales - Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Andersen Centre". FutureLearn. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  18. "I am a Scandinavian". Hans Christian Andersen and Music. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
  19. "Who Was Hans Christian Andersen?". Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  20. "Official Tourism Site of Copenhagen". Visitcopenhagen.com. Retrieved 2 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  21. "H.C. Andersen og Charles Dickens 1857". Hcandersen-homepage.dk. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  22. Lepage, Robert (18 January 2006). "Bedtime stories". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2006.
  23. Recorded using "special Greek symbols".Garfield, Patricia (21 June 2004). "The Dreams of Hans Christian Andersen" (PDF). p. 29. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
  24. Hastings, Waller (4 April 2003). "Hans Christian Andersen". Northern State University. Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  25. "The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen". Scandinavian.wisc.edu. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  26. "H.C. Andersen og Jenny Lind". 2 July 2014.
  27. "H.C. Andersen homepage (Danish)". Hcandersen-homepage.dk. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  28. Hans Christian Andersen's correspondence, ed Frederick Crawford6, London. 1891.
  29. Seriality and Texts for Young People: The Compulsion to Repeat edited by M. Reimer, N. Ali, D. England, M. Dennis Unrau, Melanie Dennis Unrau
  30. de Mylius, Johan. "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day". Hans Christian Andersen Center. Retrieved 22 July 2006.
  31. Pritchard, Claudia (27 March 2005). "His dark materials". The Independent. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2006.
  32. Hans Christian Andersen Center, Hans Christian Andersen – FAQ
  33. Bryant, Mark: Private Lives, 2001, p. 12.
  34. in Danish, http://www.hcandersen-homepage.dk/?page_id=6226
  35. "Hans Christian Andersen".