19th October, 2021 -
2nd March, 2014
Walk Guide: Dr Nadia Valman, Queen Mary, University of London
Duration: about an hour and a half
To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Anglo-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill, this walk will use his extraordinary novel, Children of the Ghetto as a guide to Whitechapel.
First published in 1892 to great acclaim, Zangwill’s novel was the first to reveal the complex subculture of Jewish immigrant life in the ‘ghetto’ of London’s East End.
Set in the dilapidated terraced houses and raucous street markets of the Victorian East End, the novel evokes a Whitechapel that is both familiar and unfamiliar to us today.
In this walk, we will discover traces of Zangwill’s ‘ghetto’ in the streets of Whitechapel and Spitalfields and explore how its political, religious and social life was documented in his witty prose.