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A Legacy

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  437 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The Kaiser's Germany is the setting of Sybille Bedford's first and best-known novel, in which two families -- one from solid, upholstered Jewish Berlin, the other from the somnolent, agrarian Catholic South -- become comically, tragically, irrevocably intertwined. "Each family," writes the author, "stood confident of being able to go on with what was theirs, while in fact ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 2nd 2005 by Penguin Classics (first published 1956)
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Magrat Ajostiernos
Reseña completa:

Este es uno de esos libros extraños de los que cuesta hablar por ser tan peculiares, pero a mi me ha conquistado por completo.
Gira en torno a dos familias aristocráticas en la Alemania de principios del siglo XX, el argumento es todo menos lineal y sus personajes extravagantes a más no poder. La manera de escribir de la autora fue lo que realmente me atrapó, esos saltos temporales, la descripción minuciosa de las diferentes personalidades,
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have decided that I do not read enough female authors and so I intend to make sure that at least one of the books I am reading is written by a woman. Sybille Bedford is not very well known; just over 100 ratings and just over 20 reviews for this, her most famous novel. Yet listen to what has been said about her. Julia Neuberger called her the finest woman writer of the 20th Century (not sure I agree), the novelist and critic Francis King called A Legacy one of the greatest books of the 20th Ce ...more
I’m so far behind on my reviews that this has to be shorter than it deserves.

The next day Sarah took him to Voss Strasse [the house of the elderly Merzes; they are both married into the Merz family]. On their way in she stopped. “Oh look at them! So beautiful. Your cats.”

He seemed taked aback. He glanced at the yellow creatures on their pedestals. “I’d forgotten about them,” he said.

“They give me pleasure every time. I really must see that they’re left to me.”

“Oh I shouldn’t,” he said.

This book
Libros Prestados
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una crónica un poco atípica de dos familias alemanas de principios del siglo XX (antes de la Primera Guerra Mundial): los nobles católicos del sur y los ricos comerciantes judíos de la ciudad de Berlín. Dos mundos, dos formas de vivir y ver las cosas, unidos por el primer matrimonio de Julius von Felden con la hija de los Merz.

Tiene más de comedia que de costumbrismo, pero no calificaría la novela de ninguno de los dos géneros. De hecho, me es muy difícil categorizarlo. Los personajes son extrav
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sybille Bedford was a German-born writer who wrote in English. Born in 1911, she died in 2006. Due to somewhat chaotic childhood circumstances, her youth was rather peripatetic. She lived in a number of European countries, eventually settling in London as an adult. A Legacy, one of her half-dozen novels, has autobiographical elements.

The story involves two German families, the Merzs who are Jewish and the Feldens who are Catholic. The trajectories of these families are united by a brief marriage
Suzanne Stroh
My reviews here are summary, not comprehensive, so I won't clarify the story for readers who are on the fence about reading a difficult novel. I think of this book as combining the depth and lushness (and vague loveliness) of Proust with the 19th century novel tradition of Buddenbrooks or similar. Bedford lays out a sophistocated accounting of the Kaiser's Germany in many areas, and if you are looking for a a book like Stones from the River (Ursula Hegi) which seeks to explain the root causes of ...more
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
An extraordinary elliptical novel written in a concise, elegant and slightly distant style. I loved this book from the first paragraph and was surprised to read so many negative reviews on Goodreads. Don't be dissuaded from reading this beautiful book full of irony and subtle humour if you are a reader who enjoys doing a bit of the work and does not expect to be guided through every character and plot development with the literary equivalent of airport runway lights. The book is to some extent a ...more
Mar 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Meghan McCain
Shelves: own, fiction
The plot - such as it was - had potential: two interrelated upper-class families in Wilhelmine Germany, one Jewish, the other Catholic, a few difficult marriages, and one son's terrible experience at a harsh cadet school which would have repercussions for the entire family. The execution was horrid. Critics intend it as a compliment when they say someone writes dialogue like Ivy Compton-Burnett; it's not. Consider it the kiss of death.
مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي : ٢٠٠٢
حزينة جدا رغم كل كوميديتها
J.M. Hushour
A tiresome, difficult novel about the fortunes of a pair of families in fin-de-siecle Germany, one Catholic, one Jewish. Having intermarried and then remained parallel after said marriage died in the wife's death, the story twists and turns through banal goings-on, with a flash-in-the-pan style that would serve well in a different kind of story, but in one like this, driven, ostensibly, by character, never allows anything more than the shallowest view of the characters.
Often touted as darkly hin
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Sybille Bedford, OBE (16 March 1911 – 17 February 2006) was a German-born English writer. Many of her works are partly autobiographical. Julia Neuberger proclaimed her "the finest woman writer of the 20th century" while Bruce Chatwin saw her as "one of the most dazzling practitioners of modern English prose.


The Sudden View: a Mexican Journey - 1953 - (republished as A Visit to Don Otavio: a T
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“What I learnt came to me . . . at second and at third hand, in chunks and puzzles, degrees and flashes.” 2 likes
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