Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra: Adelaide O'Keeffe, the Jewish Conversion Novel, and the Limits of Rational Education

  title={Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra: Adelaide O'Keeffe, the Jewish Conversion Novel, and the Limits of Rational Education},
  author={Donelle Rae Ruwe},
  journal={Eighteenth-Century Life},
  pages={30 - 53}
  • D. Ruwe
  • Published 18 January 2012
  • Education
  • Eighteenth-Century Life
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra (1814) is a historical novel by the Irish author Adelaide O'Keeffe that features religious conversions from paganism to Judaism, and from Judaism to Christianity. O'Keeffe stages these conversions within the context of late Enlightenment debates about the ability of rational educational approaches to inculcate religious belief. I compare Zenobia to Edgeworth’s Harrington, Rousseau’s Émile, Mme de Genlis’ Adéle et Thèodore, and Hamilton’s Agrippina. Zenobia applies two… 

Figures from this paper



Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia's Revolt against Rome

In the twilight of the third century C.E., the unity of the Western world was threatened by financial crisis, invasion, and plague. The Syrian city Palmyra had long protected Rome against Persian

British romanticism and the Jews : history, culture, literature

Introduction S.A.Spector Cultural Contexts Great Britain or Judea Nova? National Identity, Property, and the Jewish Naturalization Controversy of 1753 A.H.Singer Abraham Goldsmid: Money Magician in

Plots of Enlightenment: Education and the Novel in Eighteenth-Century England

Plots of Enlightenment explores the emergence of the English novel during the early 1700s as a preeminent form of popular education at a time when educators were defining a new kind of "modern"

The Wild Girl, Natural Man, and the Monster: Dangerous Experiments in the Age of Enlightenment

This study looks at the lives of the most famous "wild children" of eighteenth-century Europe, showing how they open a window onto European ideas about the potential and perfectibility of mankind.

The Way of the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture

Willhelm Meister, Elizabeth Bennet, Julian Sorel, Rastignac, Jane Eyre, Bazaroz, Dorothea Brooke...the Golden Age of the European novel discovers a new collective protagonist: youth. It is

Figures of Conversion

"I knew a Man, who having nothing but a summary Notion of Religion himself, and being wicked and profligate to the last Degree in his Life, made a thorough Reformation in himself, by labouring to

Small Change: Women, Learning, Patriotism, 1750-1810

During the second half of the eighteenth century, the social role of educated women and the nature of domesticity were the focus of widespread debate in Britain. The emergence of an identifiably

A paradise like Eve's

Women have not been usually credited with much Utopian writing, but in fact a number of women writers have projected societies which seek to improve the condition of their sex. This paper examines

Wollstonecraft's daughters : womanhood in England and France, 1780-1920

Introduction - cross-Channel perspectives, Clarissa Campbell Orr Mary Wollstonecraft - a problematic legacy, Pam Hirsch a Republican answers back - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albertine Necker de

Imperfect Sympathies: Jews and Judaism in British Romantic Literature and Culture

Introduction: Jews and the Romantic Culture of Sympathy Blessing and Curse: Imaginary Jews and Romantic Texts Reinventing Shylock: Romanticism and the Representation of Shakespeare's Jew Hyman