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Bidding Information
Lot #    17118
Auction End Date    1/23/2007 12:58:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Spinoza : a novel
Title (Hebrew)    from the German by E. Nicholson
Author    [First Ed.] Berthold Auerbach
City    New York
Publisher    Henry Holt
Publication Date    1882
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First English edition. v, 444 pp., 165:110 mm., usual age staining, nice margins. A good copy bound in the original cloth boards, spine taped, rubbed.
   Berthold Auerbach (18121882), German author and a leader of Jewish emancipation. Born at Nordstetten in Wuerttemberg, Auerbach, after some initial training for the rabbinate at Karlsruhe (182729), became interested in law and philosophy and continued his studies at the universities of Tuebingen, Munich, and Heidelberg. His earliest publication was a pamphlet Das Judentum und die neueste Literatur (1836). In this he defended German Jewry against the charge of radicalism leveled by the influential editor, Wolfgang Menzel, and called upon the Germans to abandon their demoniac hatred of the Jews. Auerbach's interest in Spinoza prompted his first novel, Spinoza, Ein Denkerleben (1837), and his five-volume translation of the philosopher's works (1841). His second historical novel, Dichter und Kaufmann (1840), was about the German-Jewish poet Ephraim Moses Kuh. Auerbach's childhood in the Black Forest inspired his Schwarzwaelder Dorfgeschichten (184354). The foreword to the English edition, Village Stories, was by the English statesman Gladstone. Auerbach's long social novels, Auf der Hoehe (3 vols., 1864, popular in English as On the Heights), Das Landhaus am Rhein (5 vols., 1869), and Waldfried (3 vols., 1874), impressed his own generation, but their popularity soon declined.

Auerbach fought for Jewish emancipation and often spoke out on behalf of the German Jews, claiming that their destiny was linked with that of their non-Jewish fellow citizens rather than with Jews in other countries. Judaism for him meant a religion only, not a nationality, and he preferred the term "Mosaism" to "Judaism," with the implication that "Mosaism" may be interpreted as a philosophic system comparable to Hegelianism and other modern doctrines. Auerbach thus implored Moses Hess to desist from writing about the Jews as a distinct nationality. Although he used every opportunity to emphasize his fervent patriotism, Auerbach eventually realized that the Germans had no wish to share their fatherland with the Jews. He came to acknowledge the truth of Heine's distrust of German nationalism, and admitted that his own efforts to promote cooperation between the Germans and the Jews were a total failure.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
Other:    Literature
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    English
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica