CHRONOLOGY

By Frans Lasson, 1997

1845 DECEMBER 19
Karen Blixen’s father, Wilhelm Dinesen, born at Katholm, a manor house in Jylland (Jutland), the second youngest of eight siblings. His family was an ancient Danish family of landed gentry. 1863: Wilhelm Dinesen was admitted as an officer cadet to the Military Academy in Copenhagen. Wilhelm and his father, Chamberlain A. W. Dinesen, witness the defeat of Denmark in the war with Prussia in 1864, and in 1870-71, Wilhelm, as a French officer, witnesses the Prussian victory in the Franco- Prussian war (in 1872 he wrote Paris under the Commune). 1872: “Sick at heart”, as he himself described it, Wilhelm Dinesen travels to North America where he lives as a hunter among the Indians in Wisconsin. On account of his father’s illness he returns to Denmark, but after a couple of years he again – this time without success – tries to return to the battlefields, as an officer (on the Turkish side) during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78. He spends the rest of his life in Denmark as a landowner. 1879: Wilhelm Dinesen purchases several country properties in the small fishing village of Rungsted in the north of Sealand, including Rungstedlund (an ancient roadside inn where Johannes Ewald the poet lived from 1773 to 1775) and Folehave a few kilometers away. Under his own name or under the pseudonym “Boganis”, he writes and publishes several books, e.g. the two volumes ofHunting Letters (1889-92), which are still considered classics of their genre in Denmark.
1856 MAY 5
Ingeborg Westenholz, Karen Blixen’s mother, born at Matrup, a manor house in Jutland, eldest daughter of the merchant, later finance minister, Regnar Westenholz (1815-66) and Mary Westenholz, “Mama” (1832-1915), daughter of the prosperous Copenhagen businessman, Councillor of State A. N. Hansen, whose English-born wife was the daughter of a clergyman on the Channel Island of Guernsey.
1857 AUGUST 13
Mary Westenholz (Aunt Bess), the sister of Ingeborg Westenholz, born at Matrup.
1859 APRIL 18
Aage Westenholz, the brother of Ingeborg Westenholz (later to become a chartered engineer, founder of the Siam Electric Corp. and chairman of the Karen Coffee Co. Ltd.), born at Matrup.
1881 MAY 17
Wilhelm Dinesen and Ingeborg Westenholz are married and take up residence at Rungstedlund, while Mama and Mary (Bess) move from the Matrup estate to Folehave near Hørsholm. Matrup remains in the hands of the Westenholz family.
1883 APRIL 2
Inger Benedicte (Ea) Dinesen born at Rungstedlund.
1885 APRIL 17
Karen Christentze (Tanne) Dinesen born at Rungstedlund.
1886 JULY 25
Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, the second cousin of Karen Blixen and her future husband, born at the manor house Näsbyholm in southern Sweden, the young twin son of the inheritor of the estate, Baron Frederik Blixen-Finecke and his wife Clara Blixen-Finecke, the sister of the greatest landowner in Denmark, Count Mogens Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs of Frijsenborg Castle, whose mother is Wilhelm Dinesen’s maternal aunt.
1886 SEPTEMBER 13
Ellen Alvilde (Elle) Dinesen, Karen Blixen’s youngest sister, born at Rungstedlund.
1887 APRIL 24
Denys Finch Hatton, Karen Blixen’s closest friend in Africa, born in London, second son of Henry Stormont, thirteenth Earl of Winchelsea and eighth Earl of Nottingham.
1892 AUGUST 9
Thomas Fasti Dinesen, Karen Blixen’s eldest brother, born at Rungstedlund. Wilhelm Dinesen becomes MP for Grenaa in Jylland.
1894 MAY 8
Anders Runsti Dinesen, Karen Blixen’s youngest brother, born at Rungstedlund.
1895 MARCH 28
Karen Blixen’s father hangs himself in a boarding house in Copenhagen where he stays when Parliament is in session. It has been conjectured that his suicide was induced by a political setback after a long period of depression, caused by the prospect of complete physical and mental disablement resulting from syphilis, contracted many years earlier and never cured.

Ingeborg Dinesen, supported by Mama and Aunt Bess, now alone is responsible for bringing up the five young children at Rungstedlund. The daughters are not sent to school but are taught by a governess who gives them – together with their female relatives – an unsystematic, in certain ways inadequate but otherwise highly qualified cultural and linguistic education. But the absence of a masculine counterweight to the dominating influence of pious and strong women already now, in childhood, instigates in Karen Blixen a silent but fierce opposition to her elders’ demand for respect for bourgeois virtues, such as thrift, modesty and spotless moral conduct; and the Unitarian view of Christianity of the maternal side of her family, at least where Karen Blixen is concerned, seems to have fallen on barren ground. All three daughters show artistic talent, Ea and Elle mostly in the field of music, while Karen Blixen has been both drawing and writing from her early years. Numerous exercise books containing youthful drafts of poems, plays, and stories have been preserved.

1899 After the home farm has been destroyed by a fire, Ingeborg Dinesen and her daughters spend six months in Switzerland, where Karen Blixen attends a French school and improves her already extensive knowledge of the principal languages (with the exception of German).
1902 Karen Blixen frequently attends drawing lessons at the Misses Meldahl and Sode’s Art School in Copenhagen, with the idea of becoming a painter.
1903 Travels to a Unitarian congress in Holland with her sister Elle and Aunt Bess. On November 30, she is enrolled in the preparatory class of the women’s art college of the Academy of Art in Copenhagen.
1904 Attends the Academy of Art. Visits her mother’s family in Scotland.
1905 In London for the first time. Elected vice-chairman of the art student’s union at the Academy of Art, Copenhagen.
1906 Admitted to the life class at the Academy of Art, but she does not seem to have availed herself of the instruction.
1907 Makes her debut as a writer (under the pseudonym Osceola) with the story “The Hermits”, published in the August issue of Tilskueren, a Danish literary journal. Another story, “The Ploughman”, is published (likewise pseudonymously) in the October issue of the periodical Gads danske Magasin.
1909 The story “The de Cats Family” is published in the January issue of Tilskueren. None of Karen Blixen’s early stories attract any particular attention and Karen Blixen loses the impulse to continue writing because of the lack of encouragement. During these artistically lean years she spends her time among upper class contemporaries grouped around Frijsenborg and falls deeply but unhappily in love with Baron Hans Blixen-Finecke, her second cousin and the twin brother of her future husband. Her feelings are not reciprocated, and her connection with the aristocratic circle is broken abruptly and for a long time; she does not want to risk meeting Hans Blixen at one of the great houses.
1910 Driven by boredom and restless desperation, Karen Blixen – with her sister Ea – travels to Paris where she spends a couple of months in order to attend a new art school, but her efforts produce no results.
1912 On winter holiday in Norway with her brother Thomas; and a long stay in Rome in the company of her closest girlhood friend, Daisy Grevenkop-Castenskiold, one of the daughters at Frijsenborg. December 23: engaged to Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke of Näsbyholm in Sweden.
1913 The engaged couple discuss future prospects with both Aage Westenholz and their mutual uncle Mogens Frijs of Frijsenborg. Bror Blixen goes to British East Africa, recommended as the land of the future for enterprising young people. A newly founded family limited company in Denmark with Aage Westenholz as chairman and a considerable capital deposit mainly provided by Karen Blixen’s maternal family, makes it possible for him to acquire “M’Bagathi”, a Swedish-owned coffee farm; despite his ignorance of both agriculture and book-keeping, he is appointed manager of the farm by the company – a disastrous arrangement. December 2: Karen Blixen leaves Denmark to travel via Naples to a new life in Africa.
1914 JANUARY 14
Karen Blixen arrives in the port of Mombassa and the same day she is married to Bror Blixen. Bearing the title of baroness, a title much coveted in the circles to which many of her friends belong, she arrives at her new home just outside the government town of Nairobi in British East Africa. Shortly after the wedding she has to consult her doctor and learns that she has been infected with syphilis. She is treated with mercury tablets, a remedy that later turns out to be a health risk. In August the First World War breaks out. On account of their connection with the Swedish colony in British East Africa, Karen Blixen and her husband are accused, completely without cause, of being pro-German in spite of their voluntary and courageous contribution to the Allied war effort as leaders of the despatch service and provision transports.
1915 Karen Blixen is obliged to return to Denmark in April for expert medical treatment after having lived just a year on the farm. In Copenhagen she is hospitalised at the National Hospital for three months and then she goes to stay with her mother at Rungstedlund. September 7: Mama dies aged 83. While in Denmark, Karen Blixen writes the poem, “Ex Africa”, in which she portrays the country she had to leave so suddenly.
1916 Both of Karen Blixen’s sisters are married; Ea to the Sealand landowner Viggo de Neergaard; Elle to a wealthy Copenhagen businessman, later landowner, barrister Knud Dahl. Her brother Thomas qualifies as an engineer, and on the death of his paternal uncle, Laurentzius Dinesen, he is offered the inheritance of the estate of Katholm, the childhood home of Wilhelm Dinesen. He turns down the offer for economic reasons. As beneficiary of the Dinesen familiefideikommis (family trust), he is guaranteed lifelong independence. The family company is confident of the future of The Karen Coffee Co., and acquires a larger farm outside Nairobi for the Blixen couple. Bror Blixen comes to Denmark in the summer and in November he returns to Africa with Karen Blixen to take over the management of the new farm.
1917 JANUARY 12
Karen Blixen’s girlhood friend, Daisy Grevenkop-Castenskiold, suddenly commits suicide in London where her husband is the Danish ambassador. The lurking crisis in Karen Blixen’s marriage becomes permanent. Bror Blixen turns out to be totally incapable of managing the farm; he is completely unreliable with money. Karen Blixen’s sister Ea Neergaard gives birth to a daughter. Thomas Dinesen joins the Canadian Army as a volunteer to fight against the Germans like his father and grandfather.
1918 APRIL 5
Karen Blixen meets the English army pilot, Denys Finch Hatton at a dinner in Nairobi. Thomas Dinesen is awarded the British Victoria Cross for his heroism during the Allied offensive on the French front.
1919 AUGUST 14
Karen and Bror Blixen travel via London to Denmark where they arrive in November. Bror Blixen proceeds to his family in Sweden; in March 1920 he returns to Kenya, as British East Africa is now called. Their marriage is breaking up. Karen Blixen stays with her mother for more than a year at Rungstedlund. During her visit to Denmark she is ill for five months, suffering from Spanish influenza and blood poisoning.
1920 Before leaving for Kenya in March, Bror Blixen makes a written request to his wife for divorce. She refuses for the time being. In November Karen Blixen once again returns to Africa, now with Thomas Dinesen who is the representative of the family company; his job is to look at the situation and to help sort out the finances of the farm, which is now in a completely chaotic state.
1921 Karen Blixen’s maternal uncle, Aage Westenholz, the chairman of The Karen Coffee Co., visits Kenya in order to make a decision on the future of the farm. As a result of his inspection, Bror Blixen is dismissed as manager, and Karen Blixen is appointed to run the farm, with the provision that Bror Blixen is not allowed to have anything to do with the plantation or The Karen Coffee Co. Her relationship with her maternal family is seriously threatened because of their denunciation of Bror Blixen. The couple separate, much against Karen Blixen’s wishes. The after effects of the mercury treatment for her old illness, whose development had been prevented a long time ago, now begin to be felt in earnest in the form of lengthy attacks of sudden pain.
1922 Karen Blixen is disappointed in her expectations of pregnancy (by Denys Finch Hatton). June 17: her sister Ea Neergaard dies in Denmark aged 39.
1923 MARCH 2
Thomas Dinesen returns to Denmark after more than two years on the farm, convinced that The Karen Coffee Co. in the long run is past hope of recovery. Karen Blixen is working on a lengthy essay on the institution of marriage past and present (first published in Danish in Blixeniana, the yearbook of the Karen Blixen Society, 1977).
1924 Karen Blixen finishes “Modern Marriage and Other Reflections” and sends it to Thomas Dinesen in Copenhagen. November 3: the 68-year-old Ingeborg Dinesen comes to Kenya with Thomas and stays with her daughter on the farm for more than two months.
1925 JANUARY 13
Her mother takes leave and starts on her homeward voyage to Denmark. Karen and Bror Blixen’s divorce is made absolute. Karen Blixen and Thomas Dinesen leave Mombassa by ship en route to Europe. Her brother disembarks at Aden, while Karen Blixen proceeds via Paris to Denmark in May. During the eight months she spends with her mother at Rungstedlund, she makes several futile attempts at making literary contacts in Denmark. Her brother Anders takes over the estate of Leerbæk in Jylland, which had hitherto been run by Ingeborg Dinesen’ s second sister, Aunt Lidda and her husband, the landowner Georg Sass. The poem “Ex Africa” is published in Tilskueren. Through Mary Bess Westenholz, Karen Blixen arranges a meeting with Georg Brandes, a major Danish critic, possibly to enlist his aid in getting some other writings published in Denmark.
1926 FEBRUARY 1
Karen Blixen returns to the farm in Kenya. Thomas Dinesen is married to Jonna Lindhardt in April. Karen Blixen’s insecurity in her relationship with Denys Finch Hatton and her decision not to have the child she thinks she is expecting by Denys (who does not want to take on the responsibility), bring about a deep personal crisis; she struggles to come to terms with this partly by analysing its causes in depth in long letters to Thomas Dinesen. The marionette play, The Revenge of Truth, which she wrote when she was a young girl, is published, possibly through the good offices of Georg Brandes, in the May issue ofTilskueren, not under a pseudonym as she had arranged but under her own name. The dream of becoming a writer is now encouraged again. Karen Blixen resumes the fiction writing of her youth while at the same time the collapse of the farm increasingly becomes inevitable. She writes draft-versions of her first gothic tales. One of the completed tales, “Carnival” (published in English 1977) can probably be dated to this year.
1927 JANUARY 23
Karen Blixen’ s mother revisits the farm and stays with her daughter for more than three months.
1928 Bror Blixen marries Cockie Birkbeck. Socially, Karen Blixen finds herself in a difficult position in the English colony because of the new Baroness Blixen who takes part in the royal safaris arranged during the official visit of the Prince of Wales to Kenya from October to December; Bror Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton have been engaged as hunters to the prince. Presumably it is Denys Finch Hatton who arranges a dinner at the farm on November 9 for the Prince of Wales in order to redress Karen Blixen’s somewhat awkward situation.
1929 Ingeborg Dinesen falls seriously ill in Denmark. Karen Blixen leaves immediately for Denmark and stays at Rungstedlund from May 18 to December 25, only interrupting her stay for a trip to England where, among other people, she visits the Finch Hattons. Thomas Dinesen’s memoirs from the WWI French front, No Man’s Land is published in Danish. Karen Blixen returns to Africa without any substantial hope of being able to salvage her African life. The relationship with Denys Finch Hatton is breaking up.
1931 At a forced sale, the family company sells the farm after several years of financial crises. Karen Blixen undertakes to wind up the enterprise, to see to the harvesting of the last of the coffee and to guarantee the future of her black employees before returning to Denmark. May 14: Denys Finch Hatton, aged 44, is killed in his private plane in an air crash in Kenya. August 19: Karen Blixen travels by boat from Mombassa and arrives in Marseilles where she is met by Thomas Dinesen, who accompanies her through Europe. August 31: Totally ruined at the age of 46 she takes up residence with her mother at Rungstedlund. Ingeborg Dinesen supports her financially during the following years to help her make a new start in life. She herself doubts that she will be able to endure the kind of life which is now her lot – but by an incredible act of will and self-control she begins to complete a planned collection of stories, Nine Tales, in order to survive as a human being.
1932 After a year of intense work on the book (which she writes in English), Karen Blixen begins to approach foreign publishers, but unsuccessfully. Through Thomas Dinesen she approaches the American author Dorothy Canfield Fisher, a friend of Aunt Bess, who reads the manuscript of some of the tales and then immediately advises her publisher, Robert Haas in New York, to publish them. Haas acknowledges the great talent of the writer, but at first he declines to publish a collection of short stories by an unknown European writer. Karen Blixen, undismayed, continues her work.
1933 Constant Huntington, of the English publishing house Putnam, categorically refuses even to look at Karen Blixen’s manuscript when she meets him during a visit to London and tells him about her book. Robert Haas reads a couple of new stories and decides after all to publish the book in America. The number of tales in the book is reduced from nine to seven. Karen Blixen insists on publishingSeven Gothic Tales under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen; a decision she maintains despite warnings.
1934 FEBRUARY 19
Karen Blixen at Rungstedlund receives a telegram from Robert Haas: her as yet unpublished book has been chosen as Book-of-the-Month in the U.S.A., which means that a much larger edition will be printed giving a considerable rise in royalties for the author. April 9: Seven Gothic Tales is published in New York and is enthusiastically received by critics and readers. April 22: the publishers reveal the identity of Isak Dinesen. Constant Huntington of Putnam’s buys the pseudonymous author’s book without knowing that it had been offered to him before. September 6: Seven Gothic Tales is published in England and is a great success.
1935 SEPTEMBER 25
Seven Gothic Tales is published in Danish in Copenhagen as Syv fantastiske fortællinger, retold by the author. September-October: Karen Blixen goes to Geneva and by using a press card obtained through Danish connections she attends meetings of the League of Nations where, among other things, the Italian invasion of Abyssinia is discussed. Her plans to write a book about her years in Africa begin to take shape. December 23: Aage Westenholz dies, aged 76.
1936 Karen Blixen is working on the English version of Out of Africa. A part of the book is written at Brøndums Hotel in the old fishing village of Skagen, the northernmost town in Denmark.
1937 Both the English and the Danish manuscripts of Out of Africa are finished. The book is published in Denmark by Gyldendal as Den afrikanske farm (The African Farm) on October 6, and as Out of Africa by Putnam in England in November. Out of Africa makes Karen Blixen’s name a modern classic.
1938 Out of Africa is chosen as Book-of-the-Month for February in the U.S.A. and published by Random House, New York, in March. “The Caryatids”, one of the unincluded Nine Tales, is published in the March issue of the Swedish literary journal, Bonniers Literära Magasin.
1939 JANUARY 27
Ingeborg Dinesen dies, aged 82. Karen Blixen is now mistress of Rungstedlund, which is now her property jointly with her siblings. September 3: Britain and France declare war on Germany. Karen Blixen is awarded the Tagea Brandt travel scholarship.
1940 Karen Blixen is commissioned by Politiken, a Copenhagen daily newspaper, to spend a month in London, a month in Paris and a month in Berlin in order to write four articles from each city. She goes to Berlin first where she stays from March 7 to April 2. Immediately after her return, Denmark is occupied by the Germans, and her other visits are abandoned on account of the war. The articles on Hitler’s Germany were published after the war, under the title Letters from a Land at War, in the Danish literary journal, Heretica, 1948 (printed in English in Daguerreotypes and Other Essays, 1979). During this period Karen Blixen works on a new collection of stories, but owing to ill health this was delayed.
1942 Winter’s Tales is published both in England and Denmark. It is chosen as Book-of-the-Month in the U.S.A., appearing the following year.
1943 Karen Blixen feels herself to be imprisoned in Denmark because of WWII and that she is unable to begin writing a new, serious work. To amuse herself she begins writing the historical crime story, Gengældelsens Veje, (The Angelic Avengers) which contains allusions to the difficult political position in occupied Denmark.
1944 Gengældelsens veje, (originally written in Danish) is published in Copenhagen under the pseudonym of Pierre Andrezel.
1945 Clara Svendsen (now Selborn), M.A., begins her work as secretary to Karen Blixen at Rungstedlund by writing the English version of Gengældelsens veje from Karen Blixen’s dictation. Their collaboration continues with a few breaks until Karen Blixen’ s death, after which Clara Selborn as literary executor in association with the Rungstedlund Foundation administers the artistic and financial rights of Karen Blixen’s writings.
1946 MARCH 4
Bror Blixen dies in a car accident in Sweden, aged 59. The Angelic Avengers is published in England. Karen Blixen’s attacks of pain during the last few years have increased in both severity and frequency, and in February she decides to undergo a spine operation to alleviate the pains. The operation, during which various nerves are severed, is successful. With her indomitable youthful courage, Karen Blixen in the ensuing years gathers a select circle of younger friends and colleagues around her at Rungstedlund, several of them associated with the group attached to the literary journal Heretica that appeared from 1948 to 1953. Future leaders of Danish intellectual life, such as Thorkild Bjørnvig, Jørgen Gustava Brandt, Aage Henriksen, Ole Wivel and Knud W. Jensen, the later founder of the Danish Museum of Modem Art, Louisiana, in the north of Sealand, were among the frequent guests at Rungstedlund. At the same time, Karen Blixen maintains numerous contacts abroad; her international reputation makes it natural and essential to her to keep her door open to the whole world, as far as her strength allows it. Initially against Karen Blixen’s wishes, The Angelic Avengersis chosen as Book-of-the-Month in the U.S.A., being published by Random House the following year.
1947 MAY 8
Mary Westenholz (Aunt Bess) dies, aged 89.
1949 Caroline Carlsen becomes housekeeper at Rungstedlund, a post she will hold until 1981. According to the Rungstedlund Foundation Karen Blixen had decided that Caroline Carlsen should have the opportunity to stay at Rungstedlund as long as she lived. Caroline Carlsen lived at Rungstedlund until her death in 2003. Karen Blixens Eventyr (The Tales of Karen Blixen) by the Danish critic, Professor Hans Brix, is published, the first complete and comprehensive interpretation of her writings.
1950 MARCH 24
Karen Blixen introduces a series of talks for the Danish Radio with one on her African Somali servant Farah; her broadcasting mastery does much to make her known and loved all over the country in spite of her exclusiveness. With “Babette’s Feast” her collaboration with the important American magazine,Ladies’ Home Journal, begins; a number of her Anecdotes of Destiny were published there for the first time.
1951 MAY 3 TO 26
Journey to Greece and Rome with Benedicte and Knud W. Jensen.
1952 In the autumn Karen Blixen takes part in the Danish controversy over vivisection, which she opposes. Aage Henriksen publishes Karen Blixen og Marionetterne(Karen Blixen and the Marionettes).
1955 APRIL 17
Karen Blixen’s seventieth birthday. She is universally feted. But she also suffers a severe breakdown in health this year. A further, serious operation is necessary, in which several of her spinal nerves are severed, and after an extensive operation for a stomach ulcer six months later; Karen Blixen is virtually an invalid for the rest of her life. From now on it is extremely difficult for her to eat anything at all, and at times her weight falls below 35 kg. But when her health allows, she works purposefully on completing two collections of stories.
1957 Karen Blixen’s name is repeatedly mentioned among those of the leading candidates for the year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, but she is not awarded it.Sidste Fortællinger (Last Tales) is published in November in Denmark, the U.S.A., England and Sweden. As usual, both the English and Danish versions of the stories are original works by Karen Blixen. Visits to Rome, Paris and London during November and December. Appointed an honorary member of the American Academy.
1958 The desire to secure the financial future of Rungstedlund results after several years of consideration in the establishment of the Rungstedlund Foundation, a private institution that from now on is the owner of the historic main building, the 60 hectares of garden and woodland (to be preserved as a bird sanctuary) and the royalties of Karen Blixen’s works. July 6: Karen Blixen gives a radio talk on the past and future of Rungstedlund (published in English inDaguerreotypes and Other Essays, 1979) in which she asks her listeners to support the sanctuary by each sending just one Danish crown to the Foundation. More than 80.000 listeners comply with her request. Anecdotes of Destiny is published in October in Denmark, the U.S.A. and England. A short visit to Amsterdam. Karen Blixen plans a comprehensive visit to the U.S.A. in spite of her age and extremely frail health.
1959 JANUARY 3 TO APRIL 17
Visit to the U.S.A., staying for three months in New York with a tight work programme. January 28: Karen Blixen is guest of honour at the annual celebration of The National Institute of Arts and Letters where she is also guest speaker, talking “on Mottoes of My Life” (published in Daguerreotypes and Other Essays). February 17: Her sister Ellen Dahl dies in Copenhagen aged 72, while Karen Blixen is visiting Cambridge, Massachusetts. At one point during her stay in America even the willpower of a Karen Blixen cannot prevent the extremely undernourished patient from having a physical collapse but after a short hospitalization her condition is so much improved that she gathers enough strength for yet another month in the U.S.A., closely packed with appointments.
1960 The 250-year-old main building at Rungstedlund is radically restored. Her new memoirs of Africa, Skygger paa Græsset (Shadows on the Grass) is published in Denmark and England. November 28: Karen Blixen is one of the founders of the Danish Academy. Another hospitalization.
1961 JUNE 25 TO JULY 9
Visit to Paris, Karen Blixen’s last journey. A short hospitalization in the autumn.Shadows on the Grass is published in the U.S.A. where it has been chosen as Book-of-the-Month.
1962 After a summer with many guests from home and abroad, Karen Blixen’s general condition worsens in August. On September 7 she dies peacefully in her home at Rungstedlund after being unconscious for twenty-four hours, aged 77. Cause of death is undernourishment. September 11: the nearest relatives and closest friends take leave of Karen Blixen after a short ceremony in the drawing-room at Rungstedlund. The coffin is then carried out to the courtyard and taken by a horse-drawn wagon through the wood to the grave at the foot of “Ewald’s Hill”. The Danish edition of Isak Dinesen. A Memorial is published on November 11.
1963 Her posthumous tale, Ehrengard, published in Denmark, the U.S.A. and England.
1964 The Danish memorial edition of Karen Blixen’s Works vols. I-VII is published. Robert Langbaum publishes The Gaiety of Vision. A Study of Isak Dinesen’s Art in the U.S.A., England and Denmark.
1965 Isak Dinesen. A Memorial is published in the U.S.A. Karen Blixen’s Essays is published in Denmark. Aage Henriksen publishes Det guddommelige Barn og andre Essays om Karen Blixen (The Divine Child and Other Essays on Karen Blixen).
1970 The Life and Destiny of Isak Dinesen, by Frans Lasson and Clara Selborn, is published in the U.S.A. and England (new ed., The Karen Blixen Museum 1994)
1974 Three books of memoirs of Karen Blixen are published in Denmark: Tanne. Min søster Karen Blixen (Tanne. My Sister Karen Blixen) by Thomas Dinesen;Notater om Karen Blixen (Notes on Karen Blixen) by Clara Selborn; andPagten (The Pact. My Friendship with Karen Blixen) by Thorkild Bjørnvig.
1975 Inauguration of the Karen Blixen Society in Copenhagen. October 1: Karen Blixen’s Efterladte Fortællinger (Posthumous Tales) is published by Frans Lasson in Denmark.
1976 The first volume of the Karen Blixen Society’s yearbooks, Blixeniana, ed. by Hans Andersen and Frans Lasson, is published in Danish. The Karen Blixen papers are deposited in the Royal Library, Copenhagen, which from now on is the centre of Karen Blixen research. August 30: Anders Dinesen dies, aged 82.
1977 Carnival: Entertainments and Posthumous Tales are published in the U.S.A. Liselotte Henriksen publishes Karen Blixen. En bibliografi (Isak Dinesen. A Bibliography) in Denmark.
1978 JUNE 16
The first large-scale Karen Blixen exhibition opens at the Royal Library, Copenhagen. November 3: Breve fra Afrika 1914- 31, vols. 1-2, (Letters from Africa 1914-1931) published in Denmark, edited by Frans Lasson.
1979 MARCH 10
Thomas Dinesen dies, aged 86. Daguerreotypes and Other Essays by Isak Dinesen is published in the U.S.A. and England.
1981 Letters from Africa 1914-1931 is published in the U.S.A. and England.
1982 Judith Thurman publishes Isak Dinesen. The Life of a Storyteller in the U.S.A.
1985 APRIL 17
Karen Blixen’s centenary is marked by several exhibitions, a celebration at Copenhagen University, and an international symposium at the University of Minnesota, U.S.A. Gyldendal publishes definitive editions of her essays and posthumous tales. The Karen Blixen Society publishes its tenth yearbook,Blixeniana 1985, after which it winds up its activities. December 10: World premiere in New York of Universal Pictures’ film Out of Africa about Karen Blixen’s life on the farm, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer. Karen Blixen’ s house on the farm in Kenya is turned into a museum.
1986 MARCH 24
The film Out of Africa wins seven Oscars in the U.S.A., including that for best American film. The international boom for sales of Karen Blixen’s books resulting from the film’s world-wide success gives the Rungstedlund Foundation a solid financial basis on which to proceed with its building plans.
1987 Ole Wivel’s Karen Blixen. Et uafsluttet selvopgør (Karen Blixen. An Unfinished self-encounter) appears. November 6: The Rungstedlund Foundation decides to set up a Karen Blixen museum at Rungstedlund. The architect Professor Vilhelm Wohlert, a member of the Foundation, is commissioned to remodel the west wing for this purpose.
1988 APRIL 12
Gabriel Axel’s Danish film version of Babette’s Feast wins an Oscar in the U.S.A. as best foreign film of the year. Liselotte Henriksen’s Karen Blixen. En håndbog (Karen Blixen. A Handbook) is published.
1991 MAY 14
The remodelling completed, the Karen Blixen Museum is opened in the presence of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik. Marianne Wirenfeldt Asmussen, M.A., is appointed director. Knud W. Jensen receives the first Rungstedlund Prize, presented by Hørsholm Borough and awarded by the Rungstedlund Foundation.
1995 OCTOBER 20
Premiere of Chr. Braad Thomsen’s documentary film Karen Blixen, Storyteller(Danish and English versions).
1996 MARCH 26
Karen Blixen i Danmark. Breve 1931- 62, 1-2 (Karen Blixen in Denmark.Letters 1931-62) edited by Frans Lasson and Tom Engelbrecht is published.