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Letter from Fanny to Klingemann, March 22, 1829

“I almost forgot to thank you that you only concluded from my engagement card that I was a woman like Andre; I, for my part, had long been aware of this, since a bridegroom is also a man like Andre. By the way, the fact that one’s miserable female nature is advanced every day, at every step of one’s life, by the masters of creation, is a point that could bring one into a rage and thus deprive one of one’s femininity, if it were not for the fact that this would make the trouble worse.

Fanny Hensel

Fanny to Klingemann, June 15, 1836

“I enclose two piano pieces written since Düsseldorf for you, you may judge whether they are suitable to come into the hands of my unknown young friend; [… It hardly happens once a year, especially since the last time, and since Rebecka does not like to sing anymore, my songs lie unheard and unknown, and in the end, even with the pleasure of such things, one loses the judgment of them, if there is never a foreign judgment, a foreign benevolence. Felix, to whom it would be easy to replace my audience, can also, since we are together only a little, cheer me up only a little, and so I am quite alone with my music.”

Fanny to Felix, November 22, 1836

“As far as my publication is concerned, I am like a donkey between two bundles of hay. I myself am quite neutral about it, I honestly don’t care, Hensel wants it, you are against it. In any other matter, of course, I would absolutely follow my husband’s wishes, but in this case it is too important for me to have your approval; without it, I would not want to do anything of the sort.

Felix Mendelssohn

Fanny Hensel

Fanny to Felix, July 9, 1846

“Actually, I shouldn’t expect you to read this baloney now, busy as you are, if I hadn’t had to write to you to tell you something. But since I know from the beginning that it is not right for you, I will be a bit clumsy about it, because laugh at me or not, I have a fear of my brothers for 40 years, as I had it for my father for 14, or rather fear is not the right word, but the desire to please you and all those I love in my whole life, and if I now know beforehand that it will not be the case, then I feel rather uncomfortable about it. In a word, I am beginning to publish, I have finally lent a sympathetic ear to Mr. Bock’s faithful love application for my songs and his advantageous conditions, and if I have decided to do so of my own free will, and cannot sue anyone of my own if I am annoyed by it, (friends and acquaintances, however, have long persuaded me to do so), I can, on the other hand, comfort myself with the knowledge that the kind of musical reputation that has led me to such inheritances is not only my own, but also my own. On the other hand, I can console myself with the knowledge that I have in no way sought or brought about the kind of musical reputation that may have helped me to such offers. I hope not to disgrace you with it, since I am not a femme libre and unfortunately not a young Germany at all. I hope you will not be annoyed in any way, since I have proceeded quite independently in order to spare you any unpleasant moment, as you can see, and I hope you will not hold it against me. If it succeeds, i.e., that the things please, and I get more offers, then I know that it will be a great stimulus for me, which I always need in order to produce something; in the other case, I am as far along as I have always been, will not grieve, and if I then work less or nothing more, then nothing is lost.