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Title The Numerous Possibilities
NB: according to biographers, the spelling of surnames may vary.
Countess Giulietta GUICCIARDI (1784-1856).
Cousin of the Brunsvik sisters.
Beethoven's student around 1801. He dedicated the 'Moonlight Sonata' to her. Momentarily in love with Beethoven, she had a portrait done for him which he kept all his life. But she married Count Robert von Gallenbergin in 1803 , who was wealthier than the composer.
Nevertheless, Schindler is mistaken in the date of the letter. It having been dated 1812, this idea is no longer plausible.
She was proposed as the possible Immortal Beloved by Anton SCHINDLER - 1840.
Amalie SEBALD (1787 - 1846).
Amalie was a singer, notably at Berlin. She met Beethoven at Teplitz in 1811 and 1812. They were very close, as proven by certain letters.
Theory by Edouard HERRIOT - 1932, equally proposed by W. A. Thomas San Galli - 1909.
Amalie Sebald
Thérèse von BRUNSVIK (1775-1861).
The eldest sister of the Brunsvik family remained celibate. Less talented and less beautiful than Pépi, she "watched over" her...
Romain Rolland wrote that Thérèse loved Beethoven from 1806, and that they were engaged in that year. Beethoven had a portrait of Thérèse.
Proposed by Romain ROLLAND - 1928, re-proposed by other biographers - 1879.
Thérèse von Brunsvik
Joséphine von BRUNSVICK (married DEYM), a.k.a. Pépi (1779 - 1821).
Beethoven was very close, from 1799, with all of the Brunswick family. Pépi became his student and was very talented. They were close friends.
In 1812, Joséphine had been widowed for 8 years, for the moment without children (because she confided them in her sister, Thérèse)… and she had a baby girl 9 months later, Minona. One automatically thinks… Not bad, for a man without official descendants!
Jean and Brigitte MASSIN - 1954, and numerous other biographers - 1920.
Joséphine de Brunsvick

Antonie BRENTANO (née BIRKENSTOCK 1780 - 1869).
Wife of Franz von Brentano, senator at Francfort and Beethoven's friend. Also the step-sister of Bettina Brentano, who organised the relationship bewteen Goethe and Beethoven.
Antonie was at Vienna between 1809 et 1812, with her husband. In 1812, she was with her husband at Karlsbad… She gave birth to a child practically 12 months after the letter… called Karl, as it happens!
Maynard SOLOMON (re-proposed by Barry COOPER) - 1977.

Antonie Bretano

Countess Anna Marie ERDÖDY (née NICZKY 1779-1837).
Marie became almost paralysed after the birth of her first child.
She became close to Beethoven around 1803. Their bond grew sronger. He wrote to her as "liebe, liebe, liebe, liebe, liebe", and he dedicated, to her, opus 70 (two trios) and opus 102 (two sonatas).
The Countess was a great friend to Beethoven, and he lived with her for some time in 1808. She was an excellent pianist and a great admirerer of Beethoven's works. Some biographers think that she had great influence over Beethoven and over his music. Also, in 1809, she participated in the succesful search for rich patrons for the composer.
In 1812, she fell out with her husband.
Gail S. ALTMAN - 1996.

Mary Erdödy
Countess Almerie ESTERHAZY (married MURRAY 1789 - 1848).
A young women of the Esterhazy family, (aristocrats from Almérie), born in France, re-opens this debate with her unexpected arrival on the scene.
A credited pianist, she had the advantage of coming from a family who were close to Beethoven and seems to have been at the right places at the right times. In the end she married a wealthy officer.
Jaroslav CELEDA - 1960, posthumous publication in 2001.

The Immortal Beloved will always be a mystery.
Certain biographers have declared that they don't know, and have suggested that perhaps Beethoven's sweetheart is someone whose name has been completely overlooked…

(The portrait at the left is one of the two miniatures that were found in Beethoven's secret drawer after his death. It might be the immportal beloved - May be not...)

Immortal Beloved
Many thanks to Hannah SALTER for her translation of this page from French into English
© Dominique PREVOT
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