Imperfect Sympathies: Jews and Judaism in British Romantic Literature and Culture

Imperfect SympathiesJudith W. Page

Palgrave, 2004
ISBN: 0312295707

In Imperfect Sympathies, Judith W. Page argues that the cultural revolution of sympathy and sentiment in British Literature from 1770–1830 influenced the representation of Jews and Judaism. Page draws on historical materials and primary documents by and about Jews of the period, as well as a variety of authors and literary genres. She argues that there is a tension between the Romantic impulse to admire and sympathize with Jews and Judaism on the one hand, and the traditions of anti-Semitism and conversionist philo-Semitism on the other. This often unresolved tension in the literature reflects the political and cultural struggles of the time, as well as the dilemma of Romanticism, which advocates sympathy but does not always accommodate difference.

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