A Letter from Hans Christian Andersen to Charles Dickens

The following is a letter Hans Christian Andersen wrote to Charles Dickens in 1847. The seven short stories he mentions are the first seven of A Christmas Greeting.

I am again in my quiet Danish home, but my thoughts are daily in dear England, where, a few months ago, my friends transformed for me reality into a charming story.

Whilst occupied with a greater work, there sprung forth, as the flowers spring forth in the forest seven short stories. I feel a desire, a longing, to transplant in England the first produce of my poetic garden, as a Christmas Greeting: and I send it to you, my dear, noble Charles Dickens, who by your works had been previously dear to me, and since our meeting have taken root forever in my heart.

Your hand was the last that pressed mine on England’s coast: it was you who from her shores wafted me the last farewell. It is therefore natural that I should send to you, from Denmark, my first greeting again, as sincerely as an affectionate heart can convey it.

Hans Christian Andersen .
Copenhagen. 6th December, 1847.

My point in posting this was to show, despite how easy it is to classify literature by which country it comes from or by which language it is written in, even in the 19th century, the context of literary production was often international, spanning multiple countries as writers corresponded and visited with one another.

From Andersen, Hans Christian. A Christmas Greeting. New York: James Miller, year???.

Click Here for a short biography of Charles Dickens

Click Here for a short biography of Hans Christian Andersen


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