Grace Aguilar

Content type
Grace Aguilar

The Dangerous Gift

Tess Kelly

What got my attention wasn’t the writing, though it does connect us. I wasn’t drawn in by the poetry or the Judaism or any of the other traits I share with this woman. No, what caught my eye was the measles. Grace Aguilar: British/Jewish novelist, poet extraordinaire, religious writer, social historian, and liturgist; and I wanted to write about her because of the measles. 

Topics: Fiction, Poetry

American women mark death of British author Grace Aguilar

November 23, 1847

A group of Jewish women in Charleston, South Carolina deplored the death of British author Grace Aguilar as a "national calamity."

Writers in Victorian England

Spurred to publish initially as a response to the concerted campaigning of Christian conversionists, women writers were the first Anglo-Jews to produce literature on Jewish themes in England. By the end of the nineteenth century, literature by Jewish women had expanded to encompass not only works defensive of the dignity and rights of Anglo-Jewry, but also satirical novels critical of the community’s materialism and marriage practices.

Anna Maria Goldsmid

Anna Maria Goldsmid was a Victorian Jewish advocate of women’s education and Jewish emancipation who made a name for herself as a translator, lecturer, philanthropist, and poet.

Britain: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Since being allowed to resettle in 1656, Jews in Great Britain have established deep community ties throughout their diverse community. Class differences between early Sephardic settlers and the later wave of Ashkenazi immigrants gave rise to numerous Jewish charitable organizations, in which women played a key role.

Anglo-Jewish Writers in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Anglo-Jewish women writers have been active creators within the British literary arena since the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of a number of Jewish female voices, although it was not until the 1990s that the works of Jewish women writers began to be recognized as part of the British literary canon. Anglo-Jewish women writers’ multifaceted perspectives are reflected in a literary production characterized by experimentation and fragmentation.

Grace Aguilar

Grace Aguilar was an Anglo-Jewish poet, historical romance writer, domestic novelist, Jewish emancipator, religious reformer, educator, social historian, theologian, and liturgist. In her short life, she wrote twice as many books as Jane Austen, from popular historical romances to an introduction to Judaism that was used by both churches and synagogues.


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