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The King of Schnorrers

The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill
By: (1864-1926)

"The King of Schnorrers" is a delightful novel that transports readers back to 18th century London with its vivid descriptions and well-developed characters. The story follows the charming and charismatic Manasseh Bueno Barzillai Azevedo da Costa, a Jewish beggar who navigates the complex social hierarchy of the time with wit and cunning. Israel Zangwill's writing is rich and immersive, giving readers a glimpse into a world filled with humor, intrigue, and heartache. The novel is a captivating blend of historical fiction and social commentary, offering a unique perspective on class and identity. Overall, "The King of Schnorrers" is a compelling and entertaining read that will leave a lasting impression on readers.

Book Description:

Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But 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 (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock. As this hilarious satire concludes the ever-audacious Manasseh strikes a blow for tolerance—while helping himself along the way. Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in England of Russian parents. He was the author of “Children of the Ghetto,” a novel set in London’s heavily Jewish East End.

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