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Charlotte Montefiore's Secret: The Cheap Jewish Library—An Educational Philanthropic Mission

Michal Shahaf
Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
No. 30 (Spring–Fall 2016), pp. 48-73
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/nashim.30.1.03
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/nashim.30.1.03
Page Count: 26
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Charlotte Montefiore's Secret: The Cheap Jewish Library—An Educational Philanthropic Mission
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Abstract

In 1841, Charlotte Montefiore (1818–1854) of London initiated an educational philanthropic enterprise—publication of the Cheap Jewish Library, a series of tales dedicated to the working classes of the Anglo-Jewish community. This article deals with the ideals and goals of the project, as described by Montefiore herself in letters to her confidant and editor, Rev. D.A. De-Sola. The discussion is based on the manuscripts of seven letters from Charlotte Montefiore and two from Grace Aguilar, who also participated in the venture, to Rev. De-Sola. Montefiore's literary works were published anonymously, and her behind-the-scenes activities were protected by strict incognito. Her contribution to the Cheap Jewish Library endeavor was revealed to the Jewish community only after her death.

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