Journal Article

MODERN JEWISH WOMEN'S DILEMMAS: GRACE AGUILAR'S BARGAINS

Michael Galchinsky

in Literature and Theology

Volume 11, issue 1, pages 27-45
Published in print March 1997 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 1997 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/11.1.27
MODERN JEWISH WOMEN'S DILEMMAS: GRACE AGUILAR'S BARGAINS

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‘Modern Jewish Women's Dilemmas, Grace Asuilar's Bargains’ argues that Victorian Jewish women were the first Jewish women anywhere in the world to begin publishing books in a thoroughgoing way. Grace Aguilar, by far the most prominent spokesperson for English Jews during the period, attempted to strike bargains, both with Christians and with Jewish men. If Christians would tolerate Jews, Aguilar agreed that Jews would keep their different practices within the domestic sphere. Similarly, if Jewish men would provide women in the community with the education to training children in the home. Aguilar's bargains, articulated in romances, domestic fictions, and midrashim, enabled her to break centuries' old exemptions on women's participating in the intellectual life of the Jewish community, and enabled her to create a new Jewish novelistic tradition from scratch.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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