By Richard Bolster
This engrossing biography offers a vibrant account of the proficient and resolutely self sustaining Marie d'Agoult (18051876). recognized largely for forsaking her French nobleman husband to elope with pianist and composer Franz Liszt, d'Agoult later received popularity as a author lower than the pen identify Daniel Stern. Her writings earned her a acceptance as journalist and historian, and her salon attracted famous artists, reformers, and freethinkers of the time.
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Extra info for Marie d Agoult: The Rebel Countess
One day she enticed it as far as the gate, though it would never enter the yard. Marie, who had grown attached to the animal, eventually told her parents about it. Having known only the wild, Diane could never be made into a pet. She was not much to look at, but she loved Marie and belonged to her alone. In later years she saw the episode as a sign of her need for an exclusive and perfect love. By the age of ten, Marie was considered old enough to hear the conversations of her father’s friends.
She had also been moved by René, a dark tale about an emotionally troubled and weary young man who longs for some drama to give interest to his life. This sinful wish is punished when his sister Amélie falls incestuously in love with him, then enters a convent to expiate her guilty passion. 1 Madame de Flavigny had been invited to take tea with Chateaubriand and had intended to go alone since she was unaware of the intensity of Marie’s desire to meet him. Seeing her daughter almost in tears, she relented and told her to get ready quickly.
Like many other landowners of his class, Flavigny spent much time roaming his estate on horseback, accompanied by a favorite dog, and stopping to talk to the workers. His daughter’s greatest wish was to win his praise when she had worked well and to be taken hunting as a reward. She relished setting oﬀ alone together in the misty woods on winter days. They took just two dogs, one to raise the bird and one to retrieve it from the bushes when Flavigny’s aim was good. The second, a golden spaniel called Mylord, would ﬁrst bring the partridge to his master and then place it gently in Marie’s hands.