Israel Gollancz

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Sir Israel Gollancz (13 July 1863[1] – 23 June 1930[2]) was a scholar of early English literature and of Shakespeare. He was Professor of English Language and Literature at King's College, London, from 1903 to 1930.

Gollancz was born 13 July 1863,[3] in London, sixth of seven children of Rabbi Samuel Marcus Gollancz (1820–1900), cantor of the Hambro Synagogue, London, and his wife, Johanna Koppell.[4] He was the younger brother of Sir Hermann Gollancz and the uncle of the publisher Victor Gollancz. In 1910, he married Alide Goldschmidt in London.[5]

He was a founder member and the first Secretary (1902–1930) of the British Academy and of the committee for a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which eventually became the Royal National Theatre in London, and he was the Director of the Early English Text Society.[6] He edited the "Temple" Shakespeare, a uniform edition of the complete works in pocket size volumes which was the most popular Shakespeare edition of its day. He also produced a translation in modern English of the important medieval Christian allegorical poem Pearl. He contributed works to the Dictionary of National Biography. Gollancz was knighted in 1919.[7]

Gollancz died on 23 Jun 1930, in London and was buried at the Jewish Cemetery at Willesden on 26 June.[8] In the year of his death, the British Academy held a memorial lecture in his name, at which they unveiled a bust of Sir Israel.[9] The British Academy awards the Sir Israel Gollancz prize for Early English Studies.[10]



  1. ^ Births Sep 1863 GOLLANEZ Israel London City 1c 77
  2. ^ Deaths Jun 1930 Gollancy Israel 66 Willesden 3a 310
  3. ^ "Some Centenaries Of 1963". London: The Times. Jan 2, 1963. p. 12; col E. 
  4. ^ England 1871 census. Class: RG10; Piece: 436; Folio: 10; Page: 16; GSU roll: 823356.
  5. ^ Marriages Sep 1910 Gollancz Israel Paddington 1a 231
  6. ^ "Early English Text Society". London: The Times. Jul 22, 1930. p. 17; col D. 
  7. ^ "Honours List.". London: The Times. Apr 29, 1919. p. 12; col D. . Professor Israel Gollancz, Secretary of the British Academy since its foundation.
  8. ^ "Deaths". London: The Times. Jun 27, 1930. p. 1; col A and 17; col D. 
  9. ^ "The Art Of Chaucer Sir Israel Gollancz Memorial Lecture". London: The Times. Dec 4, 1930. p. 9; col D. 
  10. ^ "British Academy's New Fellows". London: The Times. Jul 11, 1963. p. 14; col F.