Originally Posted by issybird
So what did the Buddenbrooks in? A combination of bad luck and bad choices, as with most downfalls? Plus the physical issue; the Thomas generation was marked by poor health. Did Antoinette Buddenbrooks introduce a physical weakness into the line? But she was pretty hardy, so I suspect it was some kind of developed degeneracy in the line, ending with poor Hanno. Perhaps Christian's bastard and Tony's line, with fresher blood, will endure, although without the Buddenbrooks' name or fortune.
Failure to thrive, rather than any sort of crisis. I kept waiting for something dramatic to cause bankruptcy or death, but instead they drifted along. Other families had oodles of children and extended family and were growing, the Buddenbrooks in contrast kept to themselves and gradually shrunk in status and numbers.