According to a hypothesis exposed and sustained during the '50's, (Kaznelson, "Beethovens ferne und unsterbliche Geliebte", Zurich, Standard Buch Verlag - 1954), the relationship between Beethoven and Joséphine continued after her second marriage and had an intimate epilogue in Prague in July of 1812; the letters known as “to my immortal beloved”, are considered to have possibly been written for Joséphine. A final analysis of the paternity of Joséphine's last daughter, Minona, born Stackelberg on 9th April 1813 is under question.
Indeed, the Baron Stackelberg had been in Estonia since 1810, where he was dwelling with another woman. He only visited Joséphine twice, in January and October of 1812. A few therefore find it easy to reach the conclusion that Minona was not the daughter of Stackelberg.
The hypothesis is not pure conjecture, but also cannot be proven. If anyone attempted to attach any certitude to the matter, the contrary is also true: no one can contemplate this possibility. The descendants of the Brunswick family, today residing in Hungary, always deny the possible relationship between the musician and the illegitimate daughter of Joséphine.
Joséphine had three other daughters and died in Vienna, practically abandoned by her husband, on 31st March 1821. In the last period of her life the police frequently interested themselves in the amorous relationships of Joséphine, as her sister Thérèse reported in her journal.
The life of Minona, the illegitimate daughter whose name reversed reads “Anonim”, was abandoned along with her mother. During the delivery only Thérèse assisted her sister. Thanks to surviving fragmentary documents, at the age of eighteen months, the child was growing and was healthy and strong. Meanwhile, the bad spirit which tormented this unfortunate family saw that the three other daughters of Joséphine were taken away by their father in Estonia, after a denunciation by the police in Vienna. The mother did not deny this denunciation until a few days before her death.
A little about Minona: some pieces of music, which were published by the house of F. H. Kunhel in Leipzig (the original score can be found in the archives of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna). You can listen to two world premier Midi files of Minona's compositions exclusively on this site! (see the bottom of the page).
The compositions do not stand out from other works of the time. However it is very stimulating to think that the creative genes may have come from her father...
Two photos have come to us and are presented here. The first appears to date from 1845-1850. We see a young woman, of robust figure, with penetrating eyes and a strong jaw line, completely the opposite to the typical German look, but much more similar to the “Spanish”, which Ludwig was named in his youth...
The other is a portrait from the end of her life. Minona has high cheek bones, small lips and tight mouth, with a downwards gaze. Her resemblance to her presumed father is striking. No surviving portrait of Beethoven gives such an impression as this photography.