Page 170 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
James knew that Emma’s primary intention was to enlist British
aid in the effort to establish Palestine as a Jewish homeland; his
caution that Emma take everything “easy” and act “discreetly”
only can imply that he knew his friend well enough to know her
boundless energy and zealousness for her cause.
In a letter shortly after Emma’s arrival in London, in June
1883, James encloses a note o f introduction to Mrs. G. W.
Smalley, the wife o f the London correspondent o f the New York
Tribune. He tells her that Mrs. Smalley “has a very pleasant house
to which
many
persons go .. . .”41The underscore isJames’. Surely
he does not think that Emma merely is in need o f social contacts
— these must be “persons” who would be o f political use to his
friend, the American Jewish poet. He also tells her that he himself
shall write to Mrs. Smalley to “ask her to introduce you to the
Montefiore’swith whom she is intimate — she, her husband, and
her children . . . were great cronies o f Leonard Montefiore [who
had died in 1879]. I have written to Mrs. Procter to put you in
communication with Lady Goldsmid — (the widow o f the late Sir
Francis, a most kind and charming woman).”42 Leonard
Montefiore, in addition to being the brother o f the British philan­
thropist scholar, Claude Goldsmid Montefiore, was himself a lit­
erary man, a philanthropist, and active in the cause o f women’s
rights. Lady Goldsmid was the widow o f Sir Francis Goldsmid,
the philanthropist and Member o f Parliament who championed
Jewish rights.
In subsequent letters over the next two years, to and from vary­
ing parts o f the world — Paris, New York, London, Holland —
James writes warmly to his friend Emma about his own activities
and about hers as well. He writes from Paris o f how he misses
their mutual friend Turgenev who had recently died; he reports
“ I f I haven’t been able to talk with you I have at least talked o f you
& everyone you saw has asked me for news o f you
8c
expressed
the most attached sentiments.”43 In a letter o f 1884 he writes
admiringly from Paris, “You appear to have done more in three
weeks than any light-footed woman before. When you ate or slept
I have not yet made definite.”44
41 Henry James; dated [Boston] June, 1883.
42
Ibid.
43 Henry James; [Paris] February 5, [1884?].
44
Ibid.