Isidore Gordon Ascher

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Isidore Gordon Gottschalk Ascher (1835–1914) was a British-Canadian novelist and poet. He was born in Glasgow in 1835, the eldest son of Isaac Gottschalk Ascher and brother to Jacob Ascher. His family moved to Canada in 1841 and Isidore received his education at Montreal High School then attended McGill University where he graduated in Law. He was called to the Bar in 1862, but returned to England in 1864 and became a novelist and poet.[1][2]

In 1872 Ascher married Lilly, eldest daughter of Samuel Newman. He died in London on September 19, 1914.[3][dubious ]

Isidore was one of the founders of Temple Emanu-El a Reform congregation founded in 1882 and inaugural committee member of the Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society when established in 1863 in Montreal.[4] This society later became the Baron de Hirsch Institute and Benevolent Society,[5][6] one of the most important charitable institutions on the continent of North America.[citation needed]

One of his early works, Voices From The Hearth, was published in Montreal in 1863, prior to his move to England, and received some praise:[7]

Though not without occasional defects, which seem more the result of carelessness than of inability to do better, this volume reveals a subtle and delicate imagination, earnest and tender aspirations after the beautiful and the true, and, in several pieces, a rich musical harmony, which is full of promise of higher achievement in future, should Mr. Ascher continue to work the vein he has so auspiciously opened.

His novel An Odd Man's Story is the tale story of a man who was duped by a rascal of a brother aided by a weak wife. There is no special reason for the tale, though it opens in a manner which seems to promise something a little out of the common.[8]



  • An Odd Man's Story. London: Elliott Stock, London, 1889. British Library, Historical Print Editions, 2010.[8] ISBN 978-1-241-17614-3 ISBN 1241176140
  • The Doom Of Destiny. London: Diprose & Bateman, 1895.[9]
  • A Social Upheaval. London: Greening & Co., 1898.[9]


  • Circumstances Alter Cases. London, New York: Samuel French, 1888.[9]


  • Voices From The Hearth. Montreal/New York: John Lovell, D. Appleton, 1863.[10]
  • One Hundred And Five Sonnets. Poetry, 1912
  • Collected Poems. Epworth P, 1929.[11]


  1. ^ Raymond Arthur Davies, Printed Jewish Canadiana, 1685–1900 Vol. 1 (1955), p. 3
  2. ^ Rand, Theodore H. (1901). Treasury of Canadian Verse. Ayer Publishing. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Personal letter from Lily Gordon-Ascher to S. M. Ellis, dated 21 September 1914, in the Montague Summers papers, Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Georgetown University Library.
  4. ^ "Canada". Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Jewish Family Services/Baron de Hirsch Institute Collection". Montreal: Jewish Public Library. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "The Young Men's Hebrew Benevolent Society of Montreal". Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Edward Hartley Dewart, ed. (1864). Selections from Canadian poets. Retrieved 9 Nov 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Books of the Month". The Atlantic Monthly. 65: 286. February 1890. Retrieved 9 Nov 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c Search results: Isidore Ascher, Open Library, Web, 15 May 2011.
  10. ^ "Voices from the hearth : a collection of verses / "Isidore", Isidore G. Ascher". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors". Retrieved 8 November 2009. 

External links[edit]

  • Review of Voices from the Hearth: a collection of verses, by Gerald Massey, reproduced in the book Gerald Massey "Chartist, Poet, Radical and Thinker"- A Biography by David Shaw.[1]
  • By the firelight [2]
  • Four poems by Ascher [3]
  • My bridge [4]
  • Sleep and death [5]
  • Richard Cobden. In memoriam. [6]