By Sybille Bedford
A Legacy is the story of 2 very varied households, the Merzes and the Feldens. The Jewish Merzes are longstanding contributors of Berlin’s haute bourgeoisie who count number a chum of Goethe between their exceptional ancestors. now not that this proud legacy potential a lot of something to them anymore. safe of their large city apartment, they dedicate themselves to little greater than having fun with their comforts and making sure their wealth. The Feldens are landed aristocracy, well to do yet now not wealthy, from Germany’s Catholic south. After Julius von Felden marries Melanie Merz the fortunes of the 2 households should be surprisingly, certainly fatally, entwined.
Set through the run-up to global warfare I, a time of weirdly mingled complacency and angst, A Legacy is desirable, magnificently humorous, and profound, an unforgettable photograph of a doomed lifestyle.
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Extra resources for A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)
Nineteenth-century writers were well aware of the importance of beauty, including slenderness, in women’s lives, so discussions of the existence of a Victorian “beauty myth” do not merely impose a twenty-ﬁrst-century concept upon the nineteenth century. Beauty has, of course, concerned both men and women throughout history, but Ellis’s statement alludes to a speciﬁc body type that many women cultivated in order to conform to a fashionable Victorian silhouette, “to wear precisely the same kind of dress” as their neighbors.
I then analyze the work of three of the Victorian era’s most popular authors, John Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, and Kate Greenaway, examining the ways that all three authors validate the body of the pre-pubescent girl over that of the adult woman. By symbolically arresting the development of their heroines, these authors parallel the behavior of the anorexic woman, who starves her body in order to forestall sexual maturation. My third chapter resumes chapter ’s analysis of the control and denial of female appetite, and the representation of female body size, through readings of Charlotte Bront¨e.
CHAPTER Waisted women: reading Victorian slenderness The extraordinary variety that is woman’s body is systematically ignored in our culture. The richness of our different shapes is reduced to the overriding image of slimness. Susie Orbach, Fat is a Feminist Issue It has always appeared to me to be one of the greatest existing absurdities, that a whole community of people, differing in complexion, form, and feature, as widely as the same species can differ, should . . desire to wear precisely the same kind of dress.