Reply To: Lesson 3 The Role of External Challenges, Escalation

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Ruchama
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The Novel is a Jewish Regency Romance

Daniel Scott is one of twin sons born to Baronet Scott and Violette DiVries, daughter of Sephardic Jews who immigrated to England when their daughter married Baronet Scott.  As the novel opens Baronet Scott is changing his will to make Daniel his heir, rather than Andrew who is missing and treated as dead. However the estate is entailed. The Baronet’s father has inserted a provision that requires the property can only be inherited by a baptized Christian.

Andrew, Daniel’s brother was baptized. Daniel was not.  He was circumcised. He was brought up to identify as Jewish by his mother, who died when he was 13. His Jewish grandmother  and  grandfather live on the estate. Until his grandfather died when he was 15, his grandfather educated Daniel in both secular and serious Jewish learning.  He was then sent to the  English public school where his brother was being educated.  All did not go well. Daniel has a club or twisted foot that causes him to walk with a limp. That and his being Jewish subject him to bullying and physical abuse until he is taught to box.

He has a deep love for the estate’s lands and is a dedicated botanist. Daniel craves security, acceptance by society, and his father’s love. He needs to love and be loved. He also needs his l transcendent meaning.

Baronet Scott urges hims to convert so that he can inherit.  He also convinces Daniel to wed Mary Bennington, who had been his brother’s fiancee’ before Andrew left to fight against Napoleon.

Daniel  craves security and also craves his father’s love (Andrew was the Baronet’s favorite) and acceptance in society. Because of his handicap and the mixed marriage, Daniel is not fully accepted as eligible for a Jewish match. By converting and wedding Mary Bennington he will  be able to inherit the property and title belonging to his father.

The price: his identity, one might say his “soul” and the transcendent meaning the religious life he abandoned as a result of his experiences as and adolescent.

He does not realize the price he will be paying until he is thrown together with Rebecca, a French Jewish prisoner of war who has been paroled to the Baronet’s custody. Their relationship brings him closer to his grandmother and gives him a way back to his heritage. But if he chooses her, he will lose (or believes his will lose) his father’s love.  He will certainly lose the security and position in society he craves.  My readers will want him to chose Rebecca.

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