Pückler’s letter to his wife Lucie in March 1818, six months after their wedding
In 1817 Lucie got married to Pückler in her second marriage and formally divorced him again in 1826 on her own initiative, only to ‘live in sin’ with the Prince for almost four decades until her death in 1854.
Anna Lucie Christine Wilhelmine Baroness of Hardenberg-Reventlow was born in Hanover on 9 April 1776 as the second child of the later Prussian State Chancellor Karl August Baron of Hardenberg. At the age of 20, Lucie got married to Carl Theodor Count of Pappenheim in Ansbach in 1796, from whom she separated in 1802 and was later divorced.
After Frankfurt/Main and Hamburg, she found her new centre of life in Berlin, where she, together with her daughter Adelheid and foster daughter Helmine, soon became one of the most popular salon guests. Lucie and Pückler probably met in Elisabeth von Staegemann’s literary salon. Pückler saw in her a consummate aristocratic lady of the world with extensive education and many social contacts.
After the 31-year-old Pückler got married to Lucie von Pappenheim, nine years his senior in 1817, she followed him to his estate in Muskau, where he had worked on a landscape garden since 1815. Here she lived for years with and without Pückler, while landscape gardening became the most important link in their relationship. However, the parkomania of the couple, who were elevated to princely rank in 1822, swallowed up enormous sums of money.
As financial ruin was imminent, Lucie decided to get a divorce in 1823. However, this was purely formal, so that Pückler could look for a wealthy woman in England, from whose dowry Muskau would be restored. The divorce took place in 1926. Pückler did not find a bride in England, but in the two and a half years of his journey through England he wrote about 1500 letters to Lucie, which were published as the Tour of a German Prince and became a bestseller. Even though the book brought the princely couple a fortune, Muskau had to be sold finally in 1845.
Almost seventy years old, Lucie dared to make a new start together with Pückler in Branitz, where they lived from the summer of 1852. In September of the same year, Lucie suffered a stroke, as a result of which she mainly sat in an armchair. While Pückler was on an extended journey through Germany, Lucie died in Branitz on 8 May 1854. At her own request, she was buried in the old cemetery in the Vorpark, where in 1857, Pückler had a marble cross put up on her grave with the inscription I remember you in love.