In his childhood in Odense Andersen first attended two "pogeskoler" (infant schools) 1810-11, one run by a lady by the name of Marie Raaschou, the other by a teacher called Fedder Carstens. Carstens' school was especially for Jewish children. After that, Andersen's school attendance (at the charity school of the town) was somewhat haphazard, especially after the death of his father (1816). His later problems with orthography were not due to dyslexia, but to this somewhat insufficient childhood education. In Copenhagen he received a little private tuition in Danish, German and Latin during his years at the theatre 1819-22. 1822-26 the head of the theatre, Jonas Collin, saw to it that he was sent to the grammar school in Slagelse, from 1825 as a boarder with the headmaster, Simon Meisling. In 1826 he moved with the Meislings to Elsinore, as Meisling had become head of the school there. At the insistent appeals of Andersen Collin removed him from Meisling's school in 1827 and arranged private tuition for him in Copenhagen. He passed his abitur (entrance examination) at Copenhagen University in 1828.


© 2002 Johan de Mylius, The Hans Christian Andersen Center