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Two Novellas: The Woman Taken in Adultery &…

Two Novellas: The Woman Taken in Adultery & The Poggenpuhl Family (Penguin… (edition 1995)

by Theodor Fontane, Erich Heller (Introduction), Gabriele Annan (Translator)

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201515,329 (3.25)None
Title:Two Novellas: The Woman Taken in Adultery & The Poggenpuhl Family (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Theodor Fontane
Other authors:Erich Heller (Introduction), Gabriele Annan (Translator)
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1995), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:ALL FICTION READ-OWNED & UNOWNED, Read but unowned
Tags:read in 2012, *GERMANY literature, 1880s, 1890s, 19th century literature

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Two Novellas: The Woman Taken in Adultry; The Poggenpuhl Family (Penguin Classics) by Theodor Fontane (Author)



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(THE WOMAN TAKEN IN ADULTERY) Melanie van der Straaten is the charming - and much younger - wife of a wealthy Berlin financier. Her husband has unfortunately 'failed to acquire a generally acceptable degree of polish or even a bearing suitable to his position.'
We have an inkling of future events when he purchases a copy of Tintoretto's 'The Woman taken in adultery'. On seeing it, Melanie comments:
'They've told her over and over again how wicked she's been. And now she believes it, or at least she wants to believe it. But her heart rebels and just won't accept it...I must confess, I really find her very touching. There's so much innocence in her guilt. And it's as if it had all been predestined.'
Shortly thereafter, Van der Straaten has a young trainee - Rubehn- come to stay with them...
While other 19th century novels on this theme show the wretchedness of the woman, this actually has quite a happy ending. Van der Straaten is a good natured chap (indeed it is Melanie's own daughter who is truly judgemental) .
Rather forgettable read and I found some of the dinner table conversations rather obscure and dull.

(POGGENPUHLS) This features a widow and her three unmarried daughters attempting to live in genteel poverty in 1890s Berlin. It's quite humorous in the early pages where we are introduced to the rather 'la-di-da' eldest daughter and the two younger
who had 'adapted themselves to their condition and to the modern world, and they worked more or less as a team.' Manon 'had no gifts at all except the gift of making herself universally popular, especially in bankers' families.' Saintly mother, wastrel younger son, rich relations...these make up the storyline (such as it is.) ( )
  starbox | Nov 3, 2012 |
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(Woman taken in adultery) Commercial Councillor van der Straaten, of 4 Grosse Petristrasse, was incontestably one of the most substantial financiers in the capital.
(Poggenpuhls) The Poggenpuhl family consisted of Major von Poggenpuhl's widow and her three daughters -Therese, Sophie and Manon.
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