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The Rabbi's Atheist DaughterErnestine Rose, International Feminist Pioneer$
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Bonnie S. Anderson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756247.001.0001

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(p.11) 1 Self-Creation
The Rabbi's Atheist Daughter

Bonnie S. Anderson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 shows how the girl born under three disadvantages—being Jewish, Polish, and female—managed to overcome all these handicaps to re-create herself as an independent internationalist. An only child, she was treated as a “surrogate son” by her rabbi father. Losing her faith early, she rejected his choice of a fiancé for her and successfully pleaded her case for her dowry/inheritance in a Polish court. Learning that her father had married a girl her own age, she left her family, Judaism, and Poland forever. In Berlin, she persuaded the king to allow her to remain in the capital, which normally banned long stays by Jews. In Paris, she witnessed the Revolution of 1830, which overthrew absolute, divine right monarchy. She then traveled on to London, to continue her education in “men and laws.”

Keywords:   Ernestine Rose, Judaism, Poland, Piótrkow Trybunalski, Friedrich Wilhelm III, Revolution of 1830, international travel, antisemitism, Enlightenment

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