Zangwill papers (Harry S. Ward Library)

Scope and Content

Correspondence of Israel Zangwill with his lecture agent, Gerald Christy, 1895-1906

Copies of Israel Zangwill's papers, 1886 onwards, including correspondence with Dr Moses Gaster, 1886-1914, and with his literary agent, 1893-1901; copies of personal papers relating to Zangwill's early life and his schooling; copies of birth, marriage and death certificates; obituaries of Louis Zangwill; photographs, portraits and caricatures; cuttings and articles relating to Israel Zangwill's novels and to plays and theatre productions; papers relating to exhibitions; articles relating to Zangwill; papers and publications of and relating to the Jewish Territorial Organisation and the Jewish Colonial Trust.

Administrative / Biographical History

Israel Zangwill (1864-1923) was born in Bristol. He was educated at Jews' Free School, where he later became a teacher, taking a BA at London University. Following a disagreement with the governors of the school Zangwill resigned to devote himself to literature. He had edited the journal PURIM in 1880. Shortly after leaving Jews' Free School, in 1888, he published THE PREMIER AND THE PAINTER under the pseudonym of `J. Freeman Bell', in collaboration with Lewis Cowen. Zangwill worked as editor of ARIEL during this period as well as contributing to the JEWISH STANDARD. These works drew him to the attention of the Jewish Publication Society of America which commissioned a novel on modern Jewish life. The result was THE CHILDREN OF THE GHETTO (Philadelphia and London, 1892). This was followed by THE KING OF SCHNORRERS (London, 1894) and THE DREAMERS OF THE GHETTO (1898). Zangwill achieved considerable success and produced numerous novels, poems and verse, and works for the stage. He also contributed a series of critical causeries to the PALL MALL GAZETTE, which were republished under the title WITHOUT PREJUDICE (London, 1896). He was a successful lecturer, whose lecture tours encompassed the United States of America, Ireland, Holland and Jerusalem, as well as Great Britain.

Zangwill was an active supporter of Zionism. On the refusal of the Seventh Zionist Congress to consider British government offers for an autonomous settlement in British East Africa, however, Zangwill formed the Jewish Territorial Organization, with the aim of securing from the British government a land for Jewish refugees.

MS 295 forms a part of the collections of the Harry S. Ward Library relating to Israel Zangwill, 1895-1980s. Collected over Mr Ward's lifetime, the materials also include his correspondence and research papers.

Access Information

Open for consultation


Compiled by Gwennyth Anderson

Other Finding Aids


Related Material

Further material relating to Israel Zangwill can be found in MS 295 Papers of Louis and Israel Zangwill.