Franz Liszt's liaison with Agnes Street-Klindworth was a shadowy affair and one of the best-kept secrets of the Weimar years, according to Alan Walker, and La Mara's heavily censored 1894 edition of the Liszt-Agnes letters did little to illuminate this relationship. Here, in a new and expanded edition of those letters, Pauline Pocknell casts new light not only on Liszt himself but also on a woman who was the Master's mistress and confidante and a spy of considerable historical importance in her own right. This new critical edition contains all 160 extant letters in both English and French, transcribed from the most reliable sources and carefully annotated by a scholar of increasing reputation. Also included are biographical information about Agnes herself, historical and critical prefaces, detailed notes for each letter, linking text between letters, analytical tables of the correspondence, an extensive bibliography, and an index. Some 40 rare illustrations accompany the letters themselves and help readers visualize Liszt's and Agnes's circumstances and the amorous and diplomatic encounters they documented for posterity.
Completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1977 and has taught music and humanities at Virginia Tech since 1978; in 1993 he was promoted to the rank of Professor. His publications include Franz Liszt: A Guide to Research (revised and republished by Routledge in 2004 and again in 2009) as well as articles and reviews in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Acta Musicologica, Notes, the Journal of Musicological Research, the Programmhefte of Bayreuth’s annual Wagner Festival, Asian Music, Music & Letters, and the Leonardo Music Journal. In addition to fellowships from the Humboldt Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, Saffle held the 2000-2001 Bicentennial Fulbright Professorship of American Studies at the University of Helsinki—a “European Distinguished Chair.” In 2008 he also held the Au Yeung King Fong research fellowship at Hong Kong Baptist University. As a teacher Saffle has three times won Virginia Tech’s Certificate of Teaching Excellence; in 2007 he received the William E. Wine “lifetime” Award from Tech’s Alumni Association. On his sixtieth birthday, he was honored with a ‘Festschrift’ issue of the cultural-studies ejournal Spaces of Identity [Volume 6, No. 3 (3 December 2006)].