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Cohen, John Michael (1903–1989), translator and literary scholar, was born on 5 February 1903 at 58 Carlton Hill, St John's Wood, London, the son of Arthur Cohen, master upholsterer, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Abrahams. Born into an assimilated Jewish family, he was educated at ...

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David Daiches (1912–2005) by Joyce Gunn-Cairns Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Daiches, David (1912–2005), literary scholar, was born at 2 Salem Hill South, Sunderland, co. Durham, on 2 September 1912, the younger son of Salis Daiches (1880–1945), rabbi and author, and his wife, Flora, née Levin (1890–1983). He and his elder brother Lionel (1911–1999)...

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Richard David Ellmann (1918–1987) by Seán O'Mordha © Estate of Seán O'Mordha

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Ellmann, Richard David (1918–1987), literary scholar and biographer, was born on 15 March 1918 in Highland Park, Detroit, Michigan, the second of the three sons (there were no daughters) of James Isaac Ellmann, lawyer, a Jewish Romanian immigrant, and his wife, Jeanette Barsook...

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A. M. Hyamson

revised by William Baker

Gollancz, Sir Israel (1863–1930), literary scholar, the fourth and youngest son of the six children of Rabbi Samuel Marcus Gollancz (1820–1900), cantor of the Hambro Synagogue, London, and his wife, Johanna Koppell, was born at 15A Bury Street, London, on 13 July 1863. His eldest brother was ...

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Gross, John Jacob (1935–2011), literary editor and critic, was born on 12 March 1935 at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, the elder son of Abraham Gross (sometimes Grosser; formerly Avraham ben Oser) (1899/1900–1960), medical practitioner, and his wife, Muriel, née Felkoff (1912–2001). At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Hobsbaum, Philip Dennis (1932–2005), poet and literary scholar, was born on 29 June 1932 at 24 Underwood Street, Whitechapel, London, the son of Joseph Hobsbaum, telephone engineer, and his wife, Rachel, née Sapera. His parents were both first-generation eastern European Jewish immigrants. In 1939 his father's job took the family to ...

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Jacob Isaacs (1896–1973) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Isaacs, Jacob (1896–1973), literary scholar, was born in London on 6 December 1896, the son of the Revd Moses David Isaacs and his wife, Jessie, daughter of the Revd Moses Bregman. Isaacs's parents were Orthodox Jews, and he was brought up in the largely Jewish ...

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Jacobson, Dan (1929–2014), novelist and literary critic, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 7 March 1929, the third son (he also had one younger sister) of Hyman Michael Jacobson (1885/1886–1975), businessman, and his wife Liebe, née Melamed (b. 1896...

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Leavis [née Roth], Queenie Dorothy (1906–1981), literary scholar, was born on 7 December 1906 at 79 Silver Street, Edmonton, Middlesex, the second of the three children of Morris Roth (1876–1953), hosier, and afterwards draper, and Jane Davis (1876–1940). Her parents were observant Jews. She was educated at ...

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Lee, Sir Sidney (1859–1926), second editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and literary scholar, was born Solomon Lazarus Lee at 12 Keppel Street, Bloomsbury, London, on 5 December 1859, the elder son of Lazarus Lee, merchant, and his wife, Jessie Davis. He had a younger brother and four sisters, of whom the eldest of the family, ...

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Sir Sidney Lee (1859–1926) by Frederick Hollyer V&A Images, The Victoria and Albert Museum

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Naomi Lewis (1911–2009) by Jenny Potter, 1975 © Jenny Potter

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Lewis [née Finkelstein], Naomi (1911–2009), poet and literary critic, was born Naomi Finkelstein at 12 St George's Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on 3 September 1911, the second of four children of Samuel Meir Finkelstein, a fish merchant who had emigrated from Latvia...

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Morley, Edith Julia (1875–1964), literary scholar and suffragette, was born on 13 September 1875 at 25 Craven Hill Gardens, London, the fourth of six children of Alexander Morley (d. 1915), surgeon-dentist, and his wife, Leah Reyser (1840–1926). Born into a Jewish, professional household and spoiled as the only daughter, ...

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Pinto, Vivian de Sola (1895–1969), literary scholar, was born at Fairhaven, Greencroft Gardens, Hampstead, London, on 9 December 1895, the younger child of José de Sola Pinto (1861–1944), cigar importer, and his wife, Hannah, née Lawrence (1864/5–1900). Both parents were of Portuguese–Jewish ancestry. His father, to whom ...