Emma Lazarus: In Her World

Emma Lazarus: In Her World

by Bette Roth Young
     
 

Emma Lazarus is best known for her immortal sonnet to the Statue of Liberty, "The New Colossus." She has also been mythologized as a brilliant but reclusive spinster. Now, author Bette Roth Young has discovered over 100 original letters that shed new light on this legendary figure. In Emma's own words, and the words of her friends, they describe the social life and… See more details below

Overview

Emma Lazarus is best known for her immortal sonnet to the Statue of Liberty, "The New Colossus." She has also been mythologized as a brilliant but reclusive spinster. Now, author Bette Roth Young has discovered over 100 original letters that shed new light on this legendary figure. In Emma's own words, and the words of her friends, they describe the social life and the personality of a vital young woman who traveled widely here and abroad.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Young has unearthed more than 100 letters by American poet Emma Lazarus that, tucked into this biographical study, shed new light on her activities and personality. Best remembered for her sonnet ``The New Colossus,'' engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, Lazarus (1849-1887) was an ardent spokesperson for eastern European Jews fleeing anti-Semitism in czarist Russia. She founded a society to help Jewish exiles resettle in Palestine and advocated a Jewish homeland in Palestine 13 years before Theodor Herzl coined the term Zionism. Nevertheless, the wealthy, genteel Sephardic poet and essayist-assimilated and never fully comfortable with her Judaism-based her concept of Jewish renewal on a return to an idealized biblical past. Previous biographers have portrayed a reclusive spinster who suddenly became pro-Semitic at the age of 33, but these intimate, gossipy letters reveal a vital woman who actively participated in cultural life, meeting in Europe with Henry James, Matthew Arnold, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. Freelance writer Young shows that Lazarus's reclamation of her Jewishness was an evolutionary process, as reflected in her earliest writings. Photos. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780827605169
Publisher:
Jewish Publication Society
Publication date:
09/14/1996
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
298

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