By Simon Goldhill
So starts A Very Queer kinfolk Indeed, which introduces us to the extreme Benson relatives. Edward White Benson turned Archbishop of Canterbury on the peak of Queen Victoria’s reign, whereas his spouse, Mary, was once well known for her wit and charm—the leading minister as soon as questioned even if she was once “the cleverest girl in England or in Europe.” The couple’s six precocious teenagers incorporated E. F. Benson, celebrated author of the Mapp and Lucia novels, and Margaret Benson, the 1st released lady Egyptologist.
What pursuits Simon Goldhill so much, even though, is what went on backstage, which was once much more strange than someone may think. Inveterate writers, the Benson family members spun out novels, essays, and hundreds of thousands of letters that open attractive new perspectives—including what it may suggest for an grownup to kiss and suggest marriage to a twelve-year-old woman, how faith in a kin may well help or damage relationships, or how the dying of a kid should be celebrated. No different family members has left such exact files approximately their such a lot intimate moments, and in those impressive debts, we see how family members lifestyles and a family’s knowing of itself took form in the course of a time whilst psychoanalysis, clinical and historic demanding situations to faith, and new methods of brooding about society have been constructing. this can be the tale of the Bensons, however it is usually greater than that—it is the tale of the way society transitioned from the excessive Victorian interval into modernity.
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Additional 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