Malou Haine, The roman à clef by One of Liszt’s Pupils in Weimar: Miss Träumerei by the American Pianist Albert Morris Bagby

Albert Morris Bagby spent the summer of 1885 in Weimar, where he attended Liszt’s classes. On his return to the United States he published two articles about his experiences in Germany. One dealt with his stay in Weimar, the other with Liszt’s pupils. The notes that he made in his diary and these two articles encouraged him to write a romantic novel in which several of Liszt’s pupils and other members of Liszt’s entourage are mentioned by name, while the two heroes and various other characters appear pseudonymously. In the guise of a light-hearted autobiographical novel, this romantic tale reveals the characters of several real-life individuals who were part of Liszt’s circle, some of whom are practically unknown today. Largely ignored hitherto, Bagby’s novel could be called ‘The Daily Lives of Liszt’s Pupils in Weimar’, so plentiful are the details that it contains concerning the classes given by Liszt, together with the various parties that they organized, the comings and goings of some of the characters and the intrigues typical of a small provincial town.