- Title: The Pianist in the Dark
- Author: Michele Halberstadt
- Genre(s): Historical
- Publisher: Pegasus Books, July 2011
- Source: Purchased*
- Length: 150 pages
- Trope(s): Musician, Physician, Disability, Overbearing Aristocratic Parents, Good and Faithful Servant
- Quick blurb: Celebrity physician attempts to cure virtuoso pianist of blindness.
- Quick review: So much potential, so much disappointment.
- Grade: D+
It was imperative that, upon being introduced to her, he be seized by sudden inspiration.
The Pianist in the Dark is based on the true story of 17-year-old virtuoso Maria Theresia von Paradis, the only child of a high-ranking Austrian diplomat. Maria Theresia has been blind since the age of three, and while she’s made a name for herself as a musician in music-mad 1770s Vienna, her father has subjected her to endless painful and humiliating treatments to restore her sight.
When famed physician Franz Mesmer — he of the “magnetism cure” for anxieties, neuroses, epilepsy and other “nervous disorders” — offers his services, Maria Theresia’s father agrees and send her off to live at Mesmer’s house/hospital.