Loading...
Grace Aguilar entry: Overview screen.
Cite
Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
Excerpts
Works By
Grace Aguilar, author of short stories, novels, and religious writings, was the only Anglo-Jewish woman in the nineteenth century to achieve considerable success as a writer. In addition to writing for gift-books and periodicals, in her lifetime she published a book of poetry, a single novel, a translation, a work on women's Biblical history, and two books of non-fiction on Jewish topics. As many additional volumes appeared posthumously. Bibliographic Citation link.
Grace Aguilar's domestic and historical fiction treats both Jewish and Gentile materials. She wrote in a crypto-Jewish tradition which placed mothers at the centre of religious survival, shifting importance away from the public and formal instruction of the synagogue towards domestic training, story-telling, and maternal influence. Bibliographic Citation link. Among Anglo-Jewish writers of the period, her work was unparallelled in its scope and its popularity with Jewish and Christian audiences, in Britain and the US. Bibliographic Citation link. One tribute from Jewish women in the US called her the "moral governess of the Hebrew family." Bibliographic Citation link.
Milestones
2 June 1816 GA was born at Hackney in North London. Bibliographic Citation link.
After October 1828 After the family moved to Devon, GA finished writing a drama titled "Gustavus Vasa", which was never published. Bibliographic Citation link.
1844 GA published "The Perez Family", the first domestic narrative of contemporary Jewish life, for Charlotte Montefiore's Cheap Jewish Library, a series of tracts aimed at poor London Jews. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1844-August 1845 GA's landmark study The Women of Israel was published in sixteen or eighteen parts costing a shilling each. Bibliographic Citation link.
1847 GA's "History of the Jews in England" appeared anonymously in Chambers's Miscellany of Useful and Entertaining Tracts, the first such history by an Anglo-Jewish author. Bibliographic Citation link.
16 September 1847 GA died at the age of thirty-one in Frankfurt, Germany, of complications she had suffered following measles and tuberculosis. Bibliographic Citation link.
Back to Top