Contemplating Adultery: The Secret Life of a Victorian Woman

Lotte Hamburger, Author, Joseph Hamburger, With Fawcett Books $20 (314p) ISBN 978-0-449-90307-0
Sarah Austin, a wife, mother and accomplished writer in early Victorian England, fell passionately in love with a dashing German prince, an author of novels and travel journals whose works she translated. Although they never met, they carried on a passionate, long-distance courtship. Over a period of three years, Austin vented her frustration about the austere, hypochondriacal scholar who was her husband and poured out her love in epistles so extraordinarily emotional and erotically charged as to disprove the Victorian stereotype of the prudish, sexually passive female. Having discovered the correspondence in Poland in the 1980s, Joseph Hamburger, a professor of political science at Yale, and his wife, Lotte, coauthors of Troubled Lives , linked the letters with meticulous research. Their narrative offers information as engrossing as the correspondence itself regarding the double life and circumstances of this remarkably independent, brilliant and charming woman. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-517-09556-0
Open Ebook - 188 pages - 978-0-307-77553-5
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-345-46552-8
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