Ludwig van Beethoven is best known for his musical masterpieces, but John E Klapproth looks at his love life in "Beethoven's Only Beloved: Josephine!" Written for a general audience, Klapproth uncovers the composer's secret romance to provide readers with a unique insight into his personal life.
Two hundred years ago, Beethoven wrote a passionate, heartfelt love letter to an unnamed mystery woman. Incorporating new documents recently discovered in European archives, Klapproth reveals that this letter was intended for Josephine Countess von Brunsvik as in several earlier letters to her, Beethoven again called her his "only beloved," his "everything" and his "angel."
As Beethoven's pupil, Josephine became an accomplished pianist, and her outstanding beauty was admired by Viennese high society. She was forced by her family to marry a nobleman, who died suddenly and left her with four young children. She was faced with the decision to follow her heart or to fulfill her duties. Klapproth narrates Josephine's conflict between her love for Beethoven and the strict obligations of the rigid class structure of her time.
"Their love, though doomed, was ultimately the major motivating force that inspired and enabled Beethoven to create the most beautiful and lyrical music of all time, despite his increasing deafness and isolation," Klapproth says. "Josephine played a major role in his life, and this is the first ever biography of Josephine in English, based on the latest scholarly research."
Born in West Germany, John E Klapproth moved to New Zealand and also lived in Australia for a while. He studied mathematics and physics in Frankfurt and sociology and psychology in Regensburg before working as an industrial psychologist and computer programmer. He currently works for the government in Wellington, New Zealand.