Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines how an ordinary middle-class Anglo-Jewish woman in the nineteenth century experienced, expressed and passed on to her children her cultural identity, as a Jewish citizen of the nation in which she lived. It draws on the private journals, spanning sixty years, of Hannah Merton, an English-born, conservative Jewish woman of the Victorian era, to discern the thoughts and activities that contributed to the construction and maintenance of her bicultural identity and promoted her family's acculturation. Merton constructed her syncretic Anglo-Jewish identity in the domestic sphere, through her loyalty to "our [Jewish] race" and by immersing herself in the bourgeois culture of "our English world." I argue that her choices, intentional or unintentional, about what not to say helped her avoid conflict between her dual allegiances and protected her carefully constructed identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1565-5288
Print ISSN
0793-8934
Pages
pp. 38-63
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-29
Open Access
No
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