novelist and critic, born in Johannesburg, but for many years settled in England, where he taught at University College London. His first novel, The Trap (1955), was followed by several others, many of them set in South Africa. They include The Price of Diamonds (1957); The Beginners (1966), a richly peopled family saga which opens in South Africa after the Second World War and moves to England; The Confessions of Joseph Baisz (1977); and The Rape of Tamar (1970), based on the biblical story about the rape of King David's daughter. Later novels include Her Story (1987); Hidden in the Heart (1991); The God‐Fearer (1992); and All For Love (2005), set in the late 19th cent. and based on Princess Louise, daughter of Leopold II of Belgium, and her affair with a subaltern. Among other works are Time and Time Again (1985), a collection of autobiographical essays, with a chapter on Leavis, and Heshel's Kingdom (1998) which re‐examines issues of Jewish history through a quest for Jacobson's grandfather, a Lithuanian rabbi.