The Shmooze: The Yiddish Book Center's podcast

Dear Mr. Dickens: The Story Behind the Letter

Award-winning children’s book author Nancy Churnin talks with The Shmooze about her illustrated children’s book Dear Mr. Dickens, which tells the true story of Eliza Davis. In Eliza Davis’s day, Charles Dickens was the most celebrated living writer in England. But some of his books reflected a mindset that was all too common at the time: prejudice against Jewish people. Eliza was Jewish and wanted to point out how unfair that was—even if it meant speaking out against the great writer. So she wrote a letter to Dickens himself. What happened next is history.

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