Jewish Translations of British Romantic Literature (1753–1858): A Preliminary Bibliography

  • Sheila A. Spector


It has long been recognized that British Romanticism played a significant role in the development of Jewish culture. Hillel Bavli (1893–1961), Hebrew poet and Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, introduced his essay “The Modern Renaissance of Hebrew Literature” by acknowledging the importance of English Romanticism to his subject.1 More recently, Benjamin Harshav, Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at Yale University, established, in his monograph The Meaning of Yiddish, the importance of British Romanticism to the history of Yiddish culture.2 Sometimes directly—as in the case of Jews who spoke English, sometimes indirectly—as with those who absorbed British romantic themes and attitudes through European (French, German, or Russian) intermediaries, Jews have consistently been exposed to British Romanticism.3 One significant, if underappreciated vehicle through which the Jews gained access to British romantic literature has been through Hebrew and Yiddish translations. Ever since the Haskalah (the Jewish Enlightenment), translation has been a major component of Jewish secular education. Therefore, in order to understand the full significance of this preliminary bibliograhy of Hebrew and Yiddish translations of British romantic literature, it is necessary first to establish the broader context of Jewish culture in the West from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.


Jewish Community Cultural Matter Hebrew Version Monthly Journal Romantic Literature 
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    David Vital, A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789–1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
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    David B. Ruderman, Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry’s Construction of Modern Jewish Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
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    Michael A. Meyer, Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
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    Michael Menachem Laskier, and Sara Reguer, eds., The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003).Google Scholar
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    Howard M. Sachar, A History of the Jews in America (New York: Knopf, 1992).Google Scholar
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    Sol Liptzin, A History of Yiddish Literature (Middle Village, NY: Jonathan David, 1972), 426.Google Scholar

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© Sheila A. Spector 2005

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  • Sheila A. Spector

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