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King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill

King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill



Manasseh da Costa, protagonist of this hilarious novel, is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (Tedesco)—even his wealthy ‘patron’ Joseph Grobstock. The book concludes as the ever-audacious Manasseh strikes a blow for tolerance and understanding—while helping himself along the way. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)
Alt-BC: Lucy Burgoyne

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