A Very Queer Family Indeed: Sex, Religion, and the Bensons by Simon Goldhill PDF

By Simon Goldhill

“We can commence with a kiss, notwithstanding this may now not develop into a love tale, a minimum of now not a love tale of something just like the traditional kind.”

So starts off A Very Queer kin Indeed, which introduces us to the extreme Benson relatives. Edward White Benson grew to become Archbishop of Canterbury on the peak of Queen Victoria’s reign, whereas his spouse, Mary, was once popular for her wit and charm—the leading minister as soon as puzzled no matter if she used to be “the cleverest girl in England or in Europe.” The couple’s six precocious young ones incorporated E. F. Benson, celebrated author of the Mapp and Lucia novels, and Margaret Benson, the 1st released girl Egyptologist.

What pursuits Simon Goldhill so much, notwithstanding, is what went on behind the curtain, which used to be much more strange than someone may think. Inveterate writers, the Benson relations spun out novels, essays, and hundreds of thousands of letters that open beautiful new perspectives—including what it could suggest for an grownup to kiss and suggest marriage to a twelve-year-old woman, how faith in a relatives may aid or smash relationships, or how the loss of life of a kid should be celebrated. No different relations has left such designated files approximately their such a lot intimate moments, and in those amazing debts, we see how family members existence and a family’s realizing of itself took form in the course of a time whilst psychoanalysis, clinical and historic demanding situations to faith, and new methods of considering society have been constructing. this can be the tale of the Bensons, however it can also be greater than that—it is the tale of ways society transitioned from the excessive Victorian interval into modernity.

 

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A Very Queer Family Indeed: Sex, Religion, and the Bensons in Victorian Britain by Simon Goldhill


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