In eight definitive lectures, Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse explores the greatest novel of Jewish nationalism, guiding you through the drama, the romance, the politics, and the moral imagination of Daniel Deronda.
Print key passages from Daniel Deronda, and explore the themes of each episode with discussion questions. Use our guide to think about the novel in the privacy of your own study, in the classroom, or in a reading group.
Meet Ruth Wisse
Preeminent teacher and scholar Ruth Wisse recently retired from her position as Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, and is currently the Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Tikvah Fund.
Her books on literary subjects include an edition of Jacob Glatstein’s two-volume fictional memoir, The Glatstein Chronicles, The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Literature and Culture, and A Little Love in Big Manhattan. She is also the author of two political studies, If I Am Not for Myself: The Liberal Betrayal of the Jews and Jews and Power. Her most recent book, No Joke: Making Jewish Humor, a volume in the Tikvah Fund’s Library of Jewish Ideas, was recently published by Princeton University Press.
Brought up as an English gentleman with the paths of scholarship and government open before him, by the end of the novel Daniel Deronda chooses to embrace Judaism and to dedicate himself to Jewish national renewal.
The Character and Education of Daniel Deronda | 46:21