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Aguilar, Grace

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Grace Aguilar’s works include children and young adult literature comprising poetry, short stories, novels, drama, religious polemics, essays, and biographies. She was regularly published in religious and popular journals, during and after her lifetime, alongside popular writers like Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. In the American literary marketplace, she was active in nineteenth-century literary circles via the Jewish communities and intellectual hubs of the East Coast, thanks to Jewish American writers and thinkers, both male and female. Her Jewish and English historical romances revise many of the gender and nationalist concerns of popular Gothic novels, like Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian (1797), and popular Historical Novels, like Jane Porter’s The Scottish Chiefs (1809). Aguilar’s literature also anticipates the Victorian gender and religious concerns in popular novels, like Charlotte Bronte’s Villette(1853). Though she died very young at 31, Aguilar’s canon was...


  • Historical romance
  • Historical novel
  • Juvenilia
  • Domestic novel
  • Literary Gothic
  • National tale
  • Medieval romance
  • Conduct literature
  • Periodical publishing
  • Jewish literature
  • Anti-Catholic literature

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  • Aguilar, Grace. 1844. Records of Israel, 1–84. London: John Mortimer.

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  • ———. 1853. In Home scenes and heart studies, ed. Sarah Aguilar. New York: D. Appleton and Company.

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  • ———. 1871. The days of Bruce; a story from Scottish history. New York: D. Appleton and Company.

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  • ———. 1874. The vale of cedars; or, the martyr. New York: D. Appleton and Company.

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  • ———. 1908. Tales from British history: Edmund the exiled prince and Wallace the dauntless chief. London: Routledge.

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  • UCL Special Collections. n.d. Grace Aguilar Collection, MS ADD 378, Boxes A and B.

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Critical Literature

  • Bulwer-Lytton, Edward. 1853. Zanoni. London: G. Routledge and Company.

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  • Crosland, Mrs. Newton (Camilla Toulmin). 1893. Landmarks of a Literary Life, 1820–1892. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

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  • Galchinsky, Michael. 1996. The origin of the modern Jewish woman writer: Romance and reform in Victorian England. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

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  • ———. 1997. Modern Jewish women’s dilemmas: Grace Aguilar’s bargains. Literature and Theology 1 (1): 27–45.

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  • ———, ed. 2003. Grace Aguilar: Selected writings. Orchard Park: Broadview Press Ltd.

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  • Klein, Kathrine. 2005. AnOther Scribbler: Grace Aguilar’s anglicized Jewish woman. eSharp 6:1–16.

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  • ———. 2007a. Grace Aguilar’s ‘Edict’: Empowering domesticity in ‘The edict: A tale of 1492’. eSharp 9:1–16.

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  • ———. 2007b. The origins of Grace Aguilar’s ideal domesticity. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies 6.1(Spring 2010):1–15.

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  • ———. 2009. Scottish angels in the Reign of Victoria. Victorians Institute Journal: Victorian Scotland 37: 7–29.

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  • ——— 2010a. Other desires in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette and Grace Aguilar’s Vale of Cedars. Brontë Studies: Brontës in Context 35.2:107–117.

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  • ———. 2010b. Victorian Cherubs in Grace Aguilar’s historical romances. Leeds Working Papers in Victorian Studies: Victorian Childhoods 11:109–117.

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  • ———. 2010c. Grace Aguilar’s historical romances. PhD dissertation, Queen Mary, University of London.

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  • Toulmin, Camilla. 1847. Grace Aguilar, La Belle Assemblée, transcribed by Sarah Aguilar (UCL Special Collections, Grace Aguilar Collection, MS ADD 378, Box B, n.d.)

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Correspondence to Katie Klein Booth .

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Booth, K.K. (2019). Aguilar, Grace. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-02721-6

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