By Simon Goldhill
So starts A Very Queer relations Indeed, which introduces us to the extreme Benson family members. Edward White Benson grew to become Archbishop of Canterbury on the peak of Queen Victoria’s reign, whereas his spouse, Mary, used to be popular for her wit and charm—the leading minister as soon as puzzled even if she was once “the cleverest lady in England or in Europe.” The couple’s six precocious young children integrated E. F. Benson, celebrated writer of the Mapp and Lucia novels, and Margaret Benson, the 1st released woman Egyptologist.
What pursuits Simon Goldhill so much, even though, is what went on backstage, which was once much more strange than an individual might think. Inveterate writers, the Benson family members spun out novels, essays, and hundreds of thousands of letters that open lovely new perspectives—including what it can suggest for an grownup to kiss and suggest marriage to a twelve-year-old woman, how faith in a family members might aid or damage relationships, or how the demise of a kid will be celebrated. No different relatives has left such special files approximately their so much intimate moments, and in those amazing money owed, we see how relations existence and a family’s figuring out of itself took form in the course of a time whilst psychoanalysis, medical and historic demanding situations to faith, and new methods of brooding about society have been constructing. this is often the tale of the Bensons, however it is usually greater than that—it is the tale of ways society transitioned from the excessive Victorian interval into modernity.
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Extra resources for A Very Queer Family Indeed: Sex, Religion, and the Bensons in Victorian Britain
A Very Queer Family Indeed: Sex, Religion, and the Bensons in Victorian Britain by Simon Goldhill