Page 126 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
his objective, bu t not w ithout the tragedy of seeing his daughter
die in his arms.
Following a pattern set in other novels of this period, the
author portrays his main Jewish character as being rich, crafty,
treacherous and vindictive.
H e n r y L o n g f o r d ,
by Ann Sophia Stephens. Boston, 1847.
When Henry Longford comes to the Jewish pawnbroker,
Joseph Elmendorf, to pawn a beautiful m iniature in a gold case,
the pawnbroker, an avaricious man, recognizes the great worth
of the m iniature bu t offers a pittance for it. Longford tells
Elmendorf his name and this startles the pawnbroker as it re­
calls to him the time he received $5,000 for serving as a witness
to a false will drawn up by the dishonest lawyer, Woodville,
which resulted in robbing Longford of his inheritance.
The story goes on to reveal the details of the crime and the
eventual conviction of Elmendorf, Woodville and another false
witness, Dr. Smith. After serving a jail sentence, Elmendorf
goes to Texas where he becomes a respected citizen and a zealous
defender of his country’s rights against the Mexican invasion.
T h e M i s e r ,
by Andrew Jackson Herr. Boston, 1847.
The fictional narrator of this tale is a Christian who converts
to Judaism in order to marry Esther, daughter of the wealthy
Jew, Solomons. The narrator, who remains anonymous through­
out the story, is not in love with Esther bu t has his eye on the
great wealth she will inherit from her father. He becomes a
steadfast Jew, observing the Sabbath and all other requirements
of Jewish law. Before conversion he had feared tha t his change
of religion would lower the esteem in which he was held, bu t as
Solomons had predicted, being the son-in-law of a rich Jew
gives him an even higher status than formerly.
The narrator becomes enslaved by his passion for money. He
hopes for his father-in-law’s death which would bring to him the
la tte r’s riches. Esther suffers, bitterly realizing tha t she has been
deceived in her marriage.
A plague breaks out in London. T he narrator plots and suc­
cessfully carries out the murder of Solomons, making it appear
tha t the rich Jew was struck down by the plague. But he himself
falls victim to the plague. In the throes of death he clutches
the gold tha t had been his only joy in life.