An audience of over 40 members and friends greatly enjoyed a fascinating talk about Jewish lives in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography given by our new member Professor Lawrence Goldman.
This is a 60 volume dictionary published in 2004, updating the original Victorian edition from 1855—1901 and entirely re-written. There are 1300 Jewish lives featured in the dictionary out of 60,000 which is a proportion of one in fifty Jews who have contributed to Britain in a major way. He spoke briefly of several including, Rose Heilbron, first female King’s Counsellor and First High Court Judge; businessmen Simon Marks, Israel Sieff and Isaac Wolfson; and physisists Sir Rudolf Peiris and Otto Frisch, connected with the Manhattan Project and Rosalind Franklin an important researcher whose work lead to the discovery of the DNA double helix.
The dictionary also includes a number of “ganifs”, notably Isaac Solomons a criminal fence and said to be the model for Charles’ Dickens character Fagin in Oliver Twist, Darby (Charles) Sabatini an East End gangster and more recently the newspaper owner, businessman and fraudster Robert Maxwell.
Over £400 was made for the refurbishment funds. If you missed Lawrence’s talk you will have another opportunity to hear him as he has offered to come and give another one on a future occasion.