Volume 9 Issue 4 2020

Volume 7 Issue 4

Family and Emotions

Gabriella Erdélyi Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

ARTICLES

Gabriella Erdélyi
Negotiating Widowhood and Female Agency in Seventeenth-Century Hungary 595

Abstract

Abstract

The case study focuses on the tactics of aristocratic women to negotiate their familial roles and identities primarily as wives and widows. By reading closely the rich family correspondence of the Várdai-Telegdi family in the first half of the seventeenth century and concentrating on the intensive negotiating period between getting widowed and remarrying the study argues that the role of the go-between and the marginal status of women in the patrilineal and patriarchal family created some space for them to maneuver. Moreover, the cultural context of female familial roles and ties (mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, half-sisters) was the female court, which created horizontal and intimate ties between women, which also empowered them.
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Angelika Orgona
Loving Husbands, Caring Fathers, Glorious Ancestors: Male Family Roles in Early Modern Transylvania 624

Abstract

Abstract

The study examines how a Transylvanian nobleman, Gáspár Kornis of Göncruszka (1641–1683), created a narrative concerning four generations of his family. Though in his memoir, a patrilineal lineage scheme dominates, a close reading of scattered family documents also provides insights into the practices of horizontal bonding among relatives. The letters and last wills reflect the life cycle changes and represent emotional relationships among family members. By considering the act of writing as an emotional practice, the essay tests the claims of the memoir with the help of other archival and extratextual sources. What were the narrated roles of heroized protagonists, and what were the everyday duties of noble heads of family in the early modern period? The study depicts the transformations of the family network during crisis situations in the Transylvanian Principality.
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Zsófia Kucserka
Friends or Enemies? Sisterhood in Nineteenth-Century Hungarian Novels and Diaries 650

Abstract

Abstract

The study examines two diaries, both written in Hungarian in the mid-nineteenth century by young female authors (Countess Anna Kornis and Antónia Kölcsey). The diaries are approached from the point of view of the interpretations of emotional bonds and relationship patterns offered by the two girls in their descriptions and portrayals of their relationships to their siblings. In the case of Anna Kornis’s diary, I focus on the narrative passages concerning her relationship with her sister. Antónia Kölcsey’s more conflict-ridden relationship with her brother is worth comparing with the relationship between the Kornis sisters. I examine the passages in the two diaries concerning sibling relationships against the backdrop of the paradigm shift familiar from the family history and emotional history secondary literature and the portrayals of sibling relationships in the novels of the period. What kinds of linguistic tools and rhetorical formulae were used to interpret and narrate the emotional content and dynamics of the sibling relationship?
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Edina Tünde Gál
Impoverished by Cholera: Widows, Widowers, and Orphans after the 1873 Cholera Epidemic in Kolozsvár 667

Abstract

Abstract

By analyzing the official sources produced during the communal management of a crisis due to the cholera epidemic, the study focuses on the official definitions of people in need of support as well as the survival strategies of ordinary widows and orphans in the city of Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár in the second half of the nineteenth century. Widows with children were more likely to be considered disadvantaged and receive aid than widowers. Poverty was closely related to a given individual’s ability or inability to work. Remarried widows were not considered eligible for aid, regardless of the family’s financial resources. The presence of small children was a strong motivating factor for remarriage: widows hoped to get financial support from a new spouse, while widowers needed a wife to care for children. The term orphan often referred not to the family position of a child, but rather to its place within the larger social network.
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Emese Gyimesi
The Stepfamily from Children’s Perspectives in Pest-Buda in the 1860s 693

Abstract

Abstract

This paper examines the distinctive aspects of children’s letter-writing practices, sibling relationships, and the use of urban spaces by one of the most educated, intellectual stepfamilies in mid-nineteenth century Pest-Buda. In this bourgeois family, children grew up in an exceptionally rich intellectual atmosphere, as their mother (Júlia Szendrey) was a poet, writer and translator, their father (Árpád Horvát) was a historian, and one of their uncles (Pál Gyulai) was the most significant literary critic of the time. Consequently, reading and writing was a fun game and a source of joy for even the youngest members of the family. As a result, many of the analyzed sources were produced by children, offering us the exceptional possibility to examine stepfamily relations, emotional practices, urban and everyday life, as well as material culture from the perspective of children. The study aims to identify the practices through which the family experience and the family identity and the sense of belonging in the Szendrey-Horvát family were constructed.
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BOOK REVIEWS

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IV. Iván és I. Péter mikrohistoriográfiája [A micro-historiography of Ivan IV and Peter I). By Gyula Szvák. Edited by Gábor Klaniczay and István M. Szijártó. Reviewed by Patrik Dinnyés 725 
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Érzelmek és mostohák: Mozaikcsaládok a régi Magyarországon (1500–1850) [Emotions and stepparents: Mosaic families in old Hungary, 1500–1850]. Edited by Gabriella Erdélyi. Reviewed by Gábor Koloh 728
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The Fiume Crisis: Life in the Wake of the Habsburg Empire. By Dominique Kirchner Reill. Reviewed by Ágnes Ordasi 734
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Language Diversity in the Late Habsburg Empire. By Markian Prokopovych, Carl Bethke, and Tamara Scheer. Reviewed by Alexander Maxwell 739
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Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania: The Criterion Association. By Cristina A. Bejan. Reviewed by Valentin Săndulescu 743
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Sixties Europe. By Timothy Scott Brown. Reviewed by Péter Apor 747
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Censorship in Czech and Hungarian Academic Publishing, 1969–1989: Snakes and Ladders. By Libora Oates-Indruchová. Reviewed by Adela Hîncu 752
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Polio Across the Iron Curtain: Hungary’s Cold War with an Epidemic. By Dóra Vargha. Reviewed by Viola Lászlófi 756
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