Sugestão de fim-de-semana * Weekend suggestion

Comprar o último cd da banda preferida.
Buy the lattest cd of your favorite band.

Fazer a lista de Natal.
Prepare the Christmas list.

E ler um livro.
And read a book.

A desonra da Sra. Robinson (a.k.a. Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady, 2012), Kate Summerscale

Ao cair da noite de uma sexta-feira amena de 1850, Isabella Robinson saiu para ir a uma festa. A carruagem onde seguiu sacolejando ao longo das avenidas amplas da New Town georgiana até se imobilizar junto do número 8 do Royal Circus, uma magnífica casa de arenito iluminada por candeeiros de iluminação pública. Aquela era a residência de Lady Drysdale, uma viúva rica e bem relacionada cujos serões eram famosos na cena intelectual da época.

Os seus convidados estavam reunidos no salão arejado, de pé alto, que ficava no primeiro piso, as senhoras de vestidos de seda e cetim brilhantes, bem cingidos sobre os espartilhos de osso; os cavalheiros de fraque, colete, gravata e camisa de cerimónia, calças pretas estreitas e sapatos de verniz. Quando a senhora Robinson se juntou ao grupo, foi apresentada à filha e ao genro de Lady Drysdale, Mary e Edward Lane. Ficou imediatamente encantada com o senhor Lane, um estudante de medicina com menos dez anos do que ela.

Ele era «fascinante», disse ela ao seu diário, antes de se censurar por ser tão suscetível aos encantos de um homem. Mas apoderara-se dela um desejo, que era difícil de sacudir… Uma cativante história de romance e fidelidade, de fantasia, loucura e os limites da privacidade numa sociedade com ideias bastante rígidas acerca do casamento e da sexualidade feminina. A Desonra da Sra. Robinson dá vida a uma esposa vitoriana complexa, frustrada, que sonhava com a paixão e a descoberta, com o companheirismo e o amor.

“I think people marry far too much; it is such a lottery, and for a poor woman—bodily and morally the husband’s slave—a very doubtful happiness.” —Queen Victoria to her recently married daughter Vicky

Headstrong, high-spirited, and already widowed, Isabella Walker became Mrs. Henry Robinson at age 31 in 1844. Her first husband had died suddenly, leaving his estate to a son from a previous marriage, so she inherited nothing. A successful civil engineer, Henry moved them, by then with two sons, to Edinburgh’s elegant society in 1850. But Henry traveled often and was cold and remote when home, leaving Isabella to her fantasies.

No doubt thousands of Victorian women faced the same circumstances, but Isabella chose to record her innermost thoughts—and especially her infatuation with a married Dr. Edward Lane—in her diary. Over five years the entries mounted—passionate, sensual, suggestive. One fateful day in 1858 Henry chanced on the diary and, broaching its privacy, read Isabella’s intimate entries. Aghast at his wife’s perceived infidelity, Henry petitioned for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Until that year, divorce had been illegal in England, the marital bond being a cornerstone of English life. Their trial would be a cause celebre, threatening the foundations of Victorian society with the specter of “a new and disturbing figure: a middle class wife who was restless, unhappy, avid for arousal.” Her diary, read in court, was as explosive as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, just published in France but considered too scandalous to be translated into English until the 1880s.

As she accomplished in her award-winning and bestselling The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Kate Summerscale brilliantly recreates the Victorian world, chronicling in exquisite and compelling detail the life of Isabella Robinson, wherein the longings of a frustrated wife collided with a society clinging to rigid ideas about sanity, the boundaries of privacy, the institution of marriage, and female sexuality.