Beethoven’s Love Letters To His “Immortal Beloved”
In the 21st century, the art of writing love letters has, by and large, become a lost art. For most, it is so hard to imagine receiving an outpouring of our lover’s passion in the way that composer Ludwig Van Beethoven displayed when he put pen to paper to express his undying love to the woman who had captured his heart.
Though these letters were not discovered until after his death, an analysis of the watermark on the writing paper he used pinpointed the year they were written as 1812. However, it is still unclear as to who Beethoven was addressing. Experts speculate that one of two women could have been their intended recipient; Antoine Bretano or Josephine Brunsvik.
Bretano was the wife of Beethoven’s good friend which has caused some experts to doubt her as the addressee of the letters. Aristocrat Brunsvik, on the other hand, was a piano student of Beethoven’s. He had fallen in love with her and it has been documented that he composed several piano pieces for her as a declaration of his love.
Though she seemed to have feelings for him as well, her family would not allow her to marry Beethoven, a commoner, as her mother insisted upon her daughter marrying a wealthy son-in-law of equal social stature. Brunsvik eventually married into wealth, had three children quickly after her wedding, and then lost her husband to pneumonia not long after.
Though she was drawn back to Beethoven as a widow, her family pressured her to terminate the relationship so that she would not have her aristocrat children taken away.
After reading the content of the three love letters, see if you can decide which of the two ladies you think was Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved.