Ludwig van Beethoven
Historical Figure
Nationality: Austria (born in the Holy Roman Empire)
Date of Birth: 1770
Date of Death: 1827
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Protestantism
Occupation: Composer, Musician
Turtledove Appearances:
The Two Georges
POD: c. mid-1760s
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Date of Death: Unknown

Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a highly talented German (later Austrian) composer and virtuoso pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.

Ludwig van Beethoven in The Two Georges

Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his Third Symphony, the Fallen Innocents, to those who fell during Lt. Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte's massacre of the Parisian crowds which attempted to storm the Bastille.

Beethoven was labeled a radical for this. The Fallen Innocents became a favourite of the Sons of Liberty in the North American Union in the 20th Century. For instance, Joseph Kilbride used the opening bars of the symphony as the door chimes to his house in Doshoweh.[1]

The Waldstein Sonata was another well-known Beethoven piece.[2]

Literary comment

In OTL, Beethoven admired Bonaparte as Consul of France, and at first intended his Third Symphony (written in 1804) to be known as the Bonaparte Symphony. When Napoleon crowned himself Emperor, a disillusioned Beethoven changed the title to the Heroic Symphony.

See Also


  1. The Two Georges, pg. 284, MPB, pg. 190, HC.
  2. Ibid., pg. 71., HC.