Hans Christian Andersen wrote a story in 1853 - She Was Good for Nothing. There were those saying that the now-deceased character, alcoholic and more, was good for nothing. Is that true, cried the son. No, says the servant who knew her. She was a good and worthy person, although there are those who say she was good for nothing. Find it at ://hca.gilead.org.il/good_for.html/ How much autobiography is in writing. Rhetorical, of course.
The second home that Andersen lived in as a child, older now. It looks substantial, with the half timber filled in with substantial bricking - that will last for centuries. The Yuppie look is deceiving. This was a slum at the time.
Now see the street, where, we are told, his mother walked down to the river to do the washing. The road does slope right down into it, with cobbles making an underwater road-end for a while. And so clean and peaceful now.
Note the slope away and up from the sidewalk - a build-in buttressing, as well as weight on the timbers. His home is again the half-timber in white and brown.
On some of the houses here on the street where his mother walked to the river, are mirrored contraptions fixed to the window sides, and near doors.
Odense DK, busybodies installed on windows
A busybody is installed on a window to reflect who is there at the door below, who is going up and down the alley, and the people on the street can be seen without the watcher even disturbing the curtains.
They are seen frequently in Philadelphia, where it is said that Benjamin Franklin invented them. They are still sold today, see ://www.franklinbusybody.com/features.asp/ The Benjamin Franklin Busybody. Read the Busybody history at ://www.franklinbusybody.com/history.asp/
Now: did Franklin get the idea from his trips to Europe; was he in Denmark, for example; or did Europe get the idea from him?