Maria von Klemperer II

The union  (he would have hated that word, of course) between Adalbert and Maria was short-lived because Maria herself was short-lived: she intentionally overdosed on opiates imported from Bucharest, leaving open a copy of Die Leiden des jungen Werthers next to her bed. This has led scholars to wonder whether there was another woman in Meingast’s life that summer, a third “one” in a tortuous love triangle Maria killed herself to escape.

This was taken the same summer of 1867. This, if I’m right, is Meingast’s friend Harald. I don’t know his last name…something Danish, ‘…sen’.


We have found a meticulously-folded note from Harald in Meingast’s diary. Some scholars claim that the note was sprinkled with a potent Castoreum-infused aqua mirabilis.

It reads:

“I watched. She didn’t come down. No sign. Was there something I missed? If no, I’m so very sorry. You can find me at F’s. There will be soup. -Harald.”

 This is, to say the least, cryptic. Why would Meingast keep this scrap? And why would he take such pains to fold it so neatly?


  1. The woman next to Meingast is no other than Countess Anna Strachwitz! The two acted together in an impromptu pantomime play in August that same summer. Meingast’s expression towards her is suggestive. She may have been our third “one”, though it’s difficult to tell.

  2. A more radical hypothesis is that the third “one” was not a woman but Harald himself.

  3. Kristin Primus says:

    I think this is promising. Meingast was a man of varied tastes, so it only makes sense that his personal life would have some variety in it as well!

    “But what is taste? A predilection for a certain species of pleasure? And what is that?Whence predilection? If anything is inexplicable in this world, it is that.” (From “Letters written in the Shade of the Hagia Sophia”)

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