Charlotte Yonge: Magnum Bonum

(148 words)
  • Talia Schaffer (Queens College, CUNY )

The Magnum Bonum, or, Mother Carey's Brood (1879) is the last of Charlotte M. Yonge's very popular family sagas. The Brownlow family, headed by the inexperienced young widow Caroline, includes headstrong Janet, mischievous Jock, and three other siblings. Their father had been pursuing a remarkable medical discovery when he died, nicknamed “The Magnum Bonum” and he enjoins Carey to bequeath his notes to the most deserving son. Janet is actually the most brilliant doctor of the family, but her very ambition for the Magnum Bonum proves her unworthy of it. When Jock represses his rebelliousness, Carey awards him the Magnum Bonum – but ironically, it is no longer medically useful. The novel is particularly poignant in …

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Schaffer, Talia. "Magnum Bonum". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002
[, accessed 02 December 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Women's Writing