A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics) by Sybille Bedford

By Sybille Bedford

A Legacy is the story of 2 very varied households, the Merzes and the Feldens. The Jewish Merzes are longstanding individuals of Berlin’s haute bourgeoisie who count number a pal of Goethe between their unusual ancestors. no longer that this proud legacy ability a lot of something to them anymore. safe of their large city condo, they dedicate themselves to little greater than having fun with their comforts and making sure their wealth. The Feldens are landed aristocracy, wealthy yet no longer wealthy, from Germany’s Catholic south. After Julius von Felden marries Melanie Merz the fortunes of the 2 households can be surprisingly, certainly fatally, entwined.

Set in the course of the run-up to international warfare I, a time of weirdly mingled complacency and angst, A Legacy is eye-catching, magnificently humorous, and profound, an unforgettable photo of a doomed lifestyle.

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Sitting in an arcade by the square and having a drink, he spies a †Beggar, but he refuses to give him money. Returning to the arcade following an afternoon siesta, the Narrator sees the same Beggar. Two or three days later, the Narrator suddenly remembers the man; he had seen him in Rome, twenty years earlier, an enormously proud and vain twenty-two-year-old employee of the American Fruit Company in Central America who left his position to become a writer. When the Narrator gives the emaciated Beggar a banknote, the Beggar rolls it into a ball, flicks it to the buzzards, and disappears.

A common friend and gossip labeled Maugham, *Lord Beaverbrook, and *Churchill as the three wicked old men of the Riviera; indeed, the London artist *Graham Sutherland (1903–1980) painted separate portraits of all three (1949, 1951, 1955, respectively). As did Maugham, Churchill stuttered, although not as pronounced, no doubt controlled by a long life of public speaking. Maugham burned most of his letters from Churchill in 1958. Bibliography: Calder (1972/1973); Crystal; DNB; Drabble; Morgan. THE CIRCLE.

There are textual suggestions that she may well have served as a model for †Amy Strickland in *The Moon and Sixpence (1919). Bibliography: Calder (1989/1990); Morgan; Who Was Who (1936). COLLECTIONS. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, houses a *Maugham archive, while various of his manuscripts and papers may be found at the Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of the New York (City) Public Library; the Lily Library, University of Indiana, Bloomington; Stanford University, Palo Alto (Stanford), California; the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Fales Collection, New York University, New York; the Butler Library, Columbia University, New York; the Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey; the University of Arkansas Library, Fayetteville; South Carolina Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia; among the Beaverbrook Papers, House of Lords Records Office, London.

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