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The Life of Gluckel of Hameln
Written by Herself

By Beth-Zion Abrahams (editor)


Translated from the original Yiddish and edited by Beth-Zion Abrahams

A fascinating memoir of one of Judaism’s earliest female writers

Read a recent review of this book in The Jewish Exponent

For those who do not already have Glückel’s memoir on their shelves, this JPS volume is a great introduction to the most famous female Jewish writer of all time.” -- JOFA Journal

“The Life of Glückel of Hameln is an important historical document, not only in regard to Jewish communal life, but also due to the various world events that she chronicled, including information about Sabbatai Zevi as well as political conflicts and wars that occurred during her life.” -- The Jewish Eye

The work in its totality makes clear yet again just how much has been lost to Jewish history and literature by having for so long denied women their chance to speak. Those who care about such things owe a debt of gratitude to Philadelphia’s Jewish Publication Society for returning Glückel’s life to print and, with any luck, to a whole new generation of readers.” -- The Jewish Exponent

Glückel of Hameln’s memoir is widely viewed as one of the earliest major works written by a Jewish woman and has become a classic.

Glückel’s aim, she writes at the beginning of her memoir, was to while away the long and melancholy nights that tormented her after her husband’s death, and to inform her 12 children about their family and its history. But her book is not just an account of her life; it is also a fascinating depiction of 17th century Germany and its Jewish community.

The Life of Glückel of Hameln is the only English translation of Glückel’s story from the original Yiddish and is widely considered the most accurate and complete translation available. It was out of print for many years until this JPS edition.

The volume also includes an introduction by Beth-Zion Abrahams that fills in the background of Glückel’s life and tells how she came to write her memoir. With this reissue, JPS invites a wide audience to read this important record of Jewish, European, and women’s history.

About Beth-Zion Abrahams

Beth-Zion Abrahams, a British scholar, also wrote The Jews in England and numerous scholarly articles on English Jewry and Jewish authors.