The twelve essays in Romanticism/Judaica explore the four major cultural strands that have converged from the French Revolution to the present. The first section, Nationalism and Diasporeanism, contains essays on the diasporean mentality of the Romantics, Byron's attitude towards nationalism, and Polish immigrant Hyman Hurwitz's attempt to gain acceptance among the British by having Coleridge translate his Hebrew elegy for Princess Charlotte. Essays of the second section, Religion and Anti-Semitism, deal with the complexities of Jewish/Christian relations in the Romantic Period. Specifically, they discuss philosopher Solomon Maimon's lack of response to Kant's anti-Semitism, novelist Maria Polack's use of Christian subject matter to combat anti-Semitism, and short-story writer Grace Aguilar's incorporation of the British Bible-centered Evangelical culture, along with various strands of British Romanticism. In the third section, Individualism and Assimilationism, essays consider different ways the Jews were assimilated into the dominant culture, specifically through the theater, sports and and post-Enlightenment philosophy. Finally, the volume concludes with Criticism and Reflection: a revaluation of earlier scholarship on Anglo-Jewish literature; the establishment of Harold Fisch's covenantal hermeneutics as a model for reading Keats; and an analysis of Lionel Trilling, M. H. Abrams, Harold Bloom and Geoffrey Hartman in terms of their Jewish origins, suggesting the further implications for Romanticism as a field.
Sheila A. Spector is an independent scholar who has devoted her career to exploring the intersection between Romanticism and Judaica.
'This informative collection usefully provides a more complex and multi-faceted approach to the way that Jewishness is creatively represented and critically examined, both within and beyond the contours of Jewish community... the quality of the essays in the volume is consistently high and there is much to learn about the history and literature that they study.' BARS Bulletin 'The recovery of Jewish biblical interpretation may be one of this volume’s most understated treasures. Notably, English Jews are more likely to read the bible in the vernacular than continental Jews. Romanticism/Judaica, published in the same year as the 400th anniversary of the Authorized ’King James’ Version of the Bible, contributes to a current discussion of the ways unique religious communities interpreted the Bible in different eras and offers numerous examples of how the Jewish scriptures provided a common point of reference in Romantic literature.' Wordsworth Circle 'This volume will interest academic libraries with scholars with a special interest in British Romanticism and the possible intersections with Jewish issues.' Association of Jewish Libraries 'I congratulate all the authors for the high quality of research and criticism throughout this volume, and especially Sheila Spector for her diligence and devotion in bringing forward this important scholarship. Along with her other collections of essays on this subject... Romanticism/Judaica emphatically establishes the convergence of Romantic period literature with modern Jewish culture and identity as a significant area of research, not merely for those interested in Jewish history but for those interested in English Romanticism.' European Romantic Review