Manya Harari

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Manya Harari
Manya Benenson

(1905-04-08)8 April 1905
Died24 September 1969(1969-09-24) (aged 64)
Known forBritish translator of Russian literature, co-founder of Harvill Press.

Manya Harari (née Manya Benenson) (8 April 1905 – 24 September 1969)[1] was a noted British translator of Russian literature and the co-founder of Harvill Press. Her best-known work is the translation of Boris Pasternak's epic novel Doctor Zhivago, which she co-translated with Max Hayward. She also translated works by Konstantin Paustovsky, Andrey Sinyavsky, Ilya Ehrenburg and Evgenia Ginzburg, among others.

Early life[edit]

Born in the Russian Empire, as the fourth child and youngest daughter of Jewish financier Grigori Benenson (1860–1939) and Sophie Goldberg (1862–1926), she migrated in 1914 with her family to London from Germany, where they had been visiting. She had three siblings, an older brother Jacob who died in a German concentration camp during the First World War, and two sisters, Flora Solomon and Fira Benenson (Countess Ilinska) who became a leading American dress designer.[2]


She was educated at Malvern Girls College and at Bedford College, London, where she read history, graduating in 1924.[1]

In 1946 she co-founded the Harvill Press with Marjorie Villiers.

Selected books[edit]



  • Memoirs 1906-1969

Personal life[edit]

In Paris in 1925 Manya Benenson married Ralph Andrew Harari (1893–1969), a merchant banker, art scholar and collector, son of Sir Victor Harari Pasha and Emma Aghion, leading members of Egypt's Anglo-Jewish community.[1] They had met in Palestine earlier that year. They intitially lived in Cairo where Manya studied the poor living conditions. In 1932, she converted to Roman Catholicism.[1]

The couple later settled in London and were known their hospitality at their London home 32 Catherine Place, Westminster. The couple had one son, Michael Harari, born in England in 1928, who later became a psychiatrist.[3]

Manya Harari died on 24 September 1969 and was buried with her husband at East Finchley Cemetery and Crematorium.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d P. J. V. Rolo, "Harari , Manya (1905–1969)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, January 2011.
  2. ^ "GRIGORI BENENSON, NOTED FINANCIER; Former Owner of Building at 165 Broadway Succumbs to Stroke in London WON FORTUNE IN BAKU OIL Founder of English-Russian Bank in St. Petersburg--Had Developed Gold Properties". The New York Times. 6 April 1939. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Harari, Ralph Andrew (1893–1969), merchant banker and art scholar and collector". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33689. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Manya Benenson Harari (1905-1969) - Find a Grave..." Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Ralph Andrew Harari (1893-1969) - Find a Grave..." Retrieved 27 March 2022.