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Aguilar, Grace (1816–1847), writer on Jewish history and religion and novelist, was born on 2 June 1816 in Hackney, Middlesex, the eldest of the three children of Emanuel Aguilar (1787–1845), merchant, and his wife, Sarah (d. 1854), daughter of Jacob Dias Fernandez...

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Baron, (Joseph) Alexander (1917–1999), novelist and screenwriter, was born Joseph Alexander Bernstein on 4 December 1917 at 30 Penyston Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, the son of Barnet Bernstein, later Baron (1894–1977), a Polish-born furrier, and his wife, Fanny, née Levinson (1895–1973). Once settled in ...

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Disraeli, Benjamin, earl of Beaconsfield (1804–1881), prime minister and novelist, was born on 21 December 1804 at 6 King's Road, Bedford Row, London, the eldest son and second of five children of Isaac D'Israeli (1766–1848) and his wife, Maria (1775–1847), daughter of Naphtali...

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See Tynan, Kenneth Peacock

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Neville Sandelson

revised by Mark Pottle

Edelman, (Israel) Maurice (1911–1975), politician and novelist, was born on 2 March 1911 at Cardiff, the third of five children (two sons and three daughters, one of whom died in childhood) of Joshua Edelman and his wife, Esther Solomon, who had emigrated from ...

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(Israel) Maurice Edelman (1911–1975) by Mark Gerson, 1959 © Mark Gerson; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Lewis Melville

revised by William Baker

Farjeon, Benjamin Leopold (1838–1903), novelist and playwright, second son of the five children of Jacob Farjeon (d. 1865), a poor second-hand clothes dealer, and his wife, Dinah Levy of Deal, Kent, was born in London on 12 May 1838. His parents were Orthodox Jews. Brought up in ...

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Benjamin Leopold Farjeon (1838–1903) by unknown engraver, pubd 1891 (after London Stereoscopic Co.) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

R. J. Minney

revised by Clare L. Taylor

Frankau, Gilbert (1884–1952), novelist and poet, was born on 21 April 1884 in Gloucester Terrace, London, the eldest of three sons and one daughter of Arthur Frankau (1849–1904), a principal partner of the firm of J. Frankau & Co., wholesale cigar merchants, founded originally in 1837 to import leeches from ...

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Frankau [née Davis], Julia [pseud. Frank Danby] (1859–1916), novelist, was born in Dublin on 30 July 1859, the sixth of eight children of Hyman Davis (1824–1875), dentist and later portrait photographer, and his wife, Isabella (1824–1900). Both parents were Jewish (...

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Julia Frankau (1859–1916) by George Charles Beresford © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hoban, Russell Conwell (1925–2011), author, was born on 4 February 1925 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA, the youngest of three children of Abram Hoban, advertising manager, and his wife, Jeanette (Jenny), née Dimmerman, both Jewish–Ukrainian immigrants. He had two elder sisters, Tana (in later years a renowned photographer) and ...

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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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See Jakobovits, Immanuel, Baron Jakobovits

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Leverson [née Moses], Ada Esther (1862–1933), novelist, was born in London on 10 October 1862, the eldest child in the family of four daughters and four sons of Samuel Henry Moses, later Beddington, a wool merchant resident in Hyde Park Square, London...

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Lipson, Edna [pseud. Gerda Charles] (1915–1996), novelist, was born at 79 Breckfield Road South, Everton, Liverpool, on 10 March 1915, the daughter of Hyman Harold Lipson (1880–1933), a travelling draper, and his wife, Gerty, née Caplan (1889–1981). Her father abandoned her and her mother: 'this event dominated her life, shaped her attitudes, coloured her work, and left her with the belief … that God and man – and, indeed, woman – had it in for her' (...

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Mikes, George (1912–1987), writer and humorist, was born György Mikes on 15 February 1912 in Siklós, Hungary, the son of Alfred Mikes, lawyer, and his wife, Margit, née Gál. During the First World War the family moved to Pécs, where Alfred Mikes worked in a military court; they returned to ...

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W. P. Courtney

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Phillips, Samuel (1814–1854), journalist and novelist, born in London on 28 December 1814, was of Jewish origin, and was the third son of Philip Phillips, a tradesman (at first in St James's Street and afterwards in Regent Street, London) who dealt principally in lamps and chandeliers. At an early age ...

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Bernice Rubens (1923–2004) by Stephen Hyde, 1987 © Stephen Hyde; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Rubens, Bernice [real name Bernice Ruth Reuben] (1923–2004), author, was born on 26 July 1923 at 9 Glossop Terrace in the poor Splott district of Cardiff, the third of the four children of Eli Reuben, a travelling tallyman (a seller of clothes on credit), and his wife, ...