From the medieval ballad of the Jews daughter who seduces a young Christian boy in order to murder him, to Shakespeares uncertain apostate Jessica, the Jewess held a marginal place in English literary history. In the nineteenth century, however, she became a literary preoccupation. In this lecture, Nadia Valman traces the story of the Jewess, from its birth in Romantic and Evangelical writing through myriad rewritings in both popular and high literature. The literary Jewess invariably beautiful, virtuous and tragic dramatically reveals the dynamic and ambiguous responses to Jews in England in this period.
Dr Nadia Valman is Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, the author of The Jewess in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture (Cambridge University Press) and the co-editor of five books on Jews and British literature.
This event is organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Jewish Museum and the Fritz Bauer Institut, Frankfurt am Main, in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London. The lecture is held at the German Historical Institute, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ and will begin at 7.00pm.