Maurice Samuel

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Maurice Samuel (February 8, 1895 – May 4, 1972) was a Romanian-born British and American novelist, translator and lecturer of Jewish heritage.


Born in Măcin, Tulcea County, Romania, to Isaac Samuel and Fanny Acker, Samuel moved to Paris with his family at the age of five and about a year later to England, where he studied at the Victoria University. His parents spoke Yiddish at home and he developed strong attachments to the Jewish people and the Yiddish language at early age. This later became the motivation for many of the books he wrote as an adult. Eventually, Samuel left England and emigrated to the United States, settling in New York City's Lower East Side. He served in the United States Army during World War I.[1][2]

A Jewish intellectual and writer, Samuel was known for his role as a polemicist and campaigner against anti-Semitism.[3] Most of his work concerns itself with Judaism or the Jew's role in history and modern society, but he also wrote more conventional fiction, such as The Web of Lucifer, which takes place during the Borgias' rule of Renaissance Italy, and the fantasy science-fiction novel The Devil that Failed. Samuel also wrote the nonfiction King Mob under the pseudonym "Frank K. Notch". He and his work received acclaim within the Jewish community during his lifetime, including the 1944 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his non-fiction work, The World of Sholom Aleichem. He received the Itzik Manger Prize for Yiddish literature posthumously in 1972.

Samuel died in New York City in 1972 at the age of 77.

Published works[edit]


  • The Outsider (1921)
  • Whatever Gods (1923)
  • Beyond Woman (1934)
  • Web of Lucifer (1947)
  • The Devil that Failed (1952)
  • The Second Crucifixion (1960)



  1. ^ "Maurice Samuel Papers". Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  2. ^ Mihăilescu, Dana (1 April 2012). "Images of Romania and America in early twentieth-century Romanian-Jewish immigrant life stories in the United States". East European Jewish Affairs. 42 (1): 25–43. doi:10.1080/13501674.2012.665585. ISSN 1350-1674. S2CID 162672161.
  3. ^ Levenson, Alan T. (2022). Maurice Samuel: Life and Letters of a Secular Jewish Contrarian. Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. ISBN 978-0817321307.

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