Marie d'Agoult  

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Marie Catherine Sophie, Comtesse d'Agoult (December 31, 1805Template:Spaced ndashMarch 5, 1876), was a French author, known also by her pen name, Daniel Stern.

Biography

She was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as Marie Catherine Sophie, Vicomtesse de Flavigny, the daughter of Alexander Victor François de Flavigny (1770–1819), a footloose émigré French aristocrat, and his wife Maria Elisabeth Bethmann (1772–1847), a German banker's daughter. The young Marie spent her early years in Germany and completed her education in a French convent after the Bourbon Restoration.

She entered into an early marriage of convenience with Charles Louis Constant d'Agoult, Comte d'Agoult (1790–1875) on May 16, 1827, thereby becoming the Comtesse d'Agoult. They had two daughters, Louise (1828–1834) and Claire (1830–1912). They were divorced on August 19, 1835.

From 1835 to 1839 she lived with virtuoso pianist and composer Franz Liszt, who was five years younger, and was then a rising concert star. She became close to Liszt's circle of friends, including Frédéric Chopin, who dedicated his 12 Études, Op. 25 to her (his earlier set of 12 Études, Op. 10 had been dedicated to Liszt). D'Agoult had three children with Liszt; however, she and Liszt did not marry, maintaining their independent views and other differences while Liszt was busy composing and touring throughout Europe.

Their children were:

  • Blandine (1835–1862), who was the first wife of future French prime minister Émile Ollivier but died at the age of 26
  • Cosima (1837–1930), who first married pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow and then composer Richard Wagner, and
  • Daniel (1839–1859), who was already a promising pianist and gifted scholar when he died of tuberculosis.

In 1876 she died in Paris, aged 70, and was buried in Division 54 of Père Lachaise Cemetery.

She was portrayed by Geneviève Page in the 1960 film Song Without End, opposite Dirk Bogarde as Liszt, by Fiona Lewis in the 1975 Ken Russell film Lisztomania, opposite Roger Daltrey as Liszt, and by Bernadette Peters in the 1991 James Lapine film Impromptu, which last dramatized encounters between d'Agoult, Liszt (Julian Sands), Chopin (Hugh Grant), and George Sand (Judy Davis).

Works

Her first stories (Hervé, Julien, Valentia, Nélida) were published in 1841-1845. Her best-known work (written as "Daniel Stern") is the Histoire de la Révolution de 1848 (appearing from 1850–53, in 3 volumes). D'Agoult's other works include Lettres Républicaines in Esquisses morales et politiques (1849, collected articles), Trois journées de la vie de Marie Stuart (1856), Florence et Turin (1862), Histoire des commencements de la république aux Pays-Bas (1872), "A Catholic Mother Speaks to Her Children" (1906, posthumously) and Mes souvenirs (1877, posthumously).


Further reading

  • Cronin, Vincent. Four Women in Pursuit of an Ideal. London: Collins, 1965; also published as The Romantic Way. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966.
  • Stock-Morton, Phyllis. The life of Marie d'Agoult, alias Daniel Stern. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8018-6313-9.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Marie d'Agoult" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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