An overwhelming question : Jewish stereotyping in English fiction and society, 1875-1914
This thesis sets out to examine the nature of modern Jewish stereotyping in English society with reference to a wide range of English fiction which, for the most part, has been previously undocumented in these terms. Instead of a purely literary analysis of the fictional Jewish stereotype, this thesis places the Jewish stereotype in a specific ideological and historical context which is then related to a given writer-or group of writers—and their fiction. Two chapters, moreover, demonstrate the material results of Jewish stereotyping in English society with reference to the internalisation and institutionalisation of Jewish stereotyping by British Jewry and the AngloJewish novel. The variety and impact of Jewish stereotyping is shown to encompass the ideologies of liberalism, social Darwinism, Imperialism, antisemitism, proto-Zionism, Socialism and mainstream versions of sexuality. The concluding chapter relates the modern Jewish stereotype, which was formed after the 1870s, to a more general ahistorical mythic view of the Jew. In particular, this chapter refers to the links between modern Jewish stereotyping and the traditional Christian view of the Jew. With reference to a wide range of writers, more general questions are raised in this chapter concerning the continuity of Jewish stereotyping and the choice of a given stereotype by a particular social or literary group.