Consulin? Imagine being the wife of a consul and getting your own title, feminized from your husband’s position. Thomas Mann, Nobel-prize winning author of Buddenbrooks, writes about how in 19th century Luebeck, Germany, the surviving wife of a consul was still called “Frau Konsulin” (in the English translation, “Consulin”).
His book took me back to my childhood when the living wife was addressed as “Konsulinnan,” just like the female spouse of a university lecturer was “Lektorskan” – all archaic, Swedish-language titles.
While we should always respect (and learn from) history, sometimes it also makes us grateful that we’re living in the times we are. Although I was never married to a consul, I sure would have shuddered if someone addressed me as “Consulin” or “Mrs. Consul,” or variations thereof.