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Ben Israel : An Autobiography series - author   autobiography  
Note: Name not appended until 4th instalment.
Issue Details: First known date: 1878... 1878 Ben Israel : An Autobiography
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The German Jewish narrator's proem introduces his doubts about including material likely to shock readers in his autobiography but his editor's assurances convince him that he should. Through a photographic memory he recalls his life from his birth, his father's Talmudic prediction that he would be very good or very bad, and his circumcision. His conviction that the education of children is very important seems to stem from his father's continual experimentation on him from his first weeks of life, and his taxing education in Hebrew and Rabbinical studies as well as normal schooling to which he objected. After his father's death and mother's remarriage he finished his college degree and studied philosophy in Paris. While translating manuscripts for a professor he meets a German doctor Dr. Hertz who asks his opinion of the Kaballah and its relation to Freemasonry and introduces him to his daughter who he falls in love with. He recounts the behaviour of the Paris mobs in 1870 on hearing news of the Franco-Prussian war and his own flight across country to try and return to Germany, including his arrest Prussian spy. With Dr Hertz's affidavit he is released but he has to join the French army to avoid suspicion - choosing to go to Algiers. (PB)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1878
Serialised by: The Australian Journal 1865 periodical (901 issues)
Serialised in the Australian Journal in five instalments between September 1878 and January 1879.
Last amended 2 Aug 2010 13:14:51
  • Europe,
  • Paris,
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Algiers,
    North Africa, Africa,
  • c
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • ca. 1870
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