Sybille Bedford’s first novel, A Legacy is a savage indictment of the brutality and anti-Semitism spawned in German officer-cadet schools. The Penguin Modern Classic edition is published with an introduction by the author.
On the marriage of Julius von Felden and Melanie Merz, the fortunes of two families are somewhat fatally entwined. In A Legacy, Sybille Bedford depicts their vastly different worlds – the wealthy bourgeois life of the Merzes in Berlin and the aristocratic eccentricity of the von Felden dynasty in rural Baden.
Portrayed with exquisite wit and acute observation, their personal upheavals and tragedies are set against the menacing backdrop of a newly unified Germany combined with Prussian militarism in the decades before the First World War.
‘One of the most dazzling practitioners of English prose’ Bruce Chatwin
‘Cool, witty, elegant’ Evelyn Waugh
‘At once historical novel and study of character, a collection of brilliantly objective portraits’ Aldous Huxley
A Bath with a View
I once met Sybille Bedford. ‘Met’ is perhaps the wrong word; I pounced on her at a crowded Time-Life party and began raving about her novel A Legacy which I had just read. She looked at me...Read more
Bruised, Shocked, but Elated
I first met Sybille Bedford in London in the early 1980s when an old friend of mine, Patrick Woodcock, who at the time was Sybille’s doctor, invited us both to dinner. As a keen admirer of...Read more