Marie de Flavigny (1805-1876), countess d'Agoult, in later life was called by her friends "an Amazon of thought." One of nineteenth-century France's free and independent women long before feminism came into its own, she was Franz Liszt's lover, a friend of George Sand, and a writer under the name Daniel Stern. She bore two children in her marriage with count d'Agoult and three by Liszt, including Cosima, who would leave her first husband to marry Richard Wagner.
Despite strains in her personal life (she never gained legal custody of her children and was disinherited by her own family), she made her Paris salon a multilingual center of European artists, writers, and revolutionaries. Through them she partook in and wrote about the great events of her lifetime, including her authoritative account of France's 1848 revolution. History has not treated her well despite her stature in her own times because much of what we know of her has been written by partisans for Liszt or Sand. In this new biography, historian Phyllis Stock-Morton takes Marie d'Agoult out of the shadows of Liszt and Sand and allows her to be recognized in her own right.