By Michael Ragussis
—Daniel Defoe, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719)
When the hero of Defoe’s novel listens skeptically to this anecdote similar through a French Roman Catholic priest, he little suspects that during under a century the conversion of the Jews could develop into not anything in need of a countrywide project—not in France yet in England. during this e-book, Michael Ragussis explores the phenomenon of Jewish conversion—the topic of renowned enthusiasm, public scandal, nationwide debate, and dubbed "the English insanity" through its critics—in Protestant England from the 1790s during the 1870s.
Moving past the generic catalog of anti-Semitic stereotypes, Ragussis analyzes the rhetoric of conversion because it was once reinvented by means of the English in sermons, tales for the younger, histories of the Jews, memoirs via Jewish converts, and renowned novels. along those texts and the countertexts produced by way of English Jews, he situates such writers as Edgeworth, Scott, Disraeli, Arnold, Trollope, and Eliot in the debate over conversion and similar problems with race, gender, and nation-formation. His paintings finds how a strong workforce of emergent cultural projects—including a revisionist culture of the unconventional, the recent technology of ethnology, and the rewriting of ecu history—redefined English nationwide identification in keeping with the ideology of conversion, the historical past of the Jews, and "the Jewish question."
Figures of Conversion bargains a wholly new manner of concerning Jewish identification in nineteenth-century British tradition and may be of significance not just to literary students but additionally to students of Judaic and non secular stories, heritage, and cultural studies.
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Extra resources for Figures of Conversion: “The Jewish Question” and English National Identity (Post-contemporary interventions)
Figures of Conversion: “The Jewish Question” and English National Identity (Post-contemporary interventions) by Michael Ragussis