9 June 1870 Death of Charles Dickens, Creator of “Fagin the Jew” character #otdimjh

On This Day In Messianic Jewish History

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Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was considered an anti-Semite by some because of his character Fagin in Oliver Twist.  Dickens defended himself against what he considered a false claim. In a later work, Our Mutual Friend, Dickens created the sympathetic Jewish character Mr. Riah who is the victim of a Christian moneylender. “The Jewish people are a people for whom I have a real regard and to whom I would not willingly have given an offense…for any worldly consideration.” [Wikipedia article]

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Dickens’ portrait of Fagin in one of his most widely read early novels Oliver Twist, has been seen by some as deeply antisemitic, though others such as Dickens’ biograper G.K. Chesterton [also considered by some to use anti-semitic motifs] have argued against this notion. The novel refers to Fagin 257 times in the first 38 chapters as “the Jew”, while the ethnicity or religion of the…

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