A Christmas Greeting: A Series of Stories | Hans Christian Andersen


I am again in my quiet Danish home, but my thoughts are daily in dear England, where, a few months ago, my many 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 for ever 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.

* The seven short stories referenced in this letter are: The Old House, The Drop of Water, The Happy Family, The Story of a Mother, The False Collar, The Shadow, The Old Street-Lamp