Agoult Marie of – Memories
Agoult Marie d ‘- Memories: After My Memories in which Marie d’Agoult (1805-1876, she wrote under the pseudonym Daniel Stern), born of Flavigny, evokes his childhood and the beginning of his married life with Count Charles d ‘Agoult, these Memoirs retrace, for the most part, the five years of his passionate affair with Franz Liszt. When she meets him, she is 27 years old, 21 years old. She suffocates in the narrowness of a marriage with an aristocrat of whom she shares neither ideas nor values. The death of their eldest daughter further distances the spouses. Mary sinks into a deep depression. A new meeting in 1833 will seal their destiny: they leave together 8 days later, leaving everything to live their passion. First in Switzerland then in Italy before returning to France. Three children will be born from this affair, including Cosima, future wife of Richard Wagner.
[During the two months spent in Switzerland], no letter reached us in our fantastic races across the mountain. Nobody knew our name in the isolated houses, in the hamlets where we preferred to stop. Almost everywhere, to see us so similar in size, in the color of the eyes and hair, in the complexion and the sound of the voice, we were taken for brother and sister; we were delighted.
Although they remained unfinished at the death of Marie d’Agoult, these memoirs constitute a precious testimony of this extraordinary destiny, that of a free woman’s life, whose ideas clashed with established minds. The edition published here cleverly mixes the Memoirs with extracts from the diaries of Marie d’Agoult, themselves sometimes commented a posteriori by F. Liszt! We thus enter the intimacy of their lives and we are touched by this story as alive as sometimes tinged with nostalgia.