The Big Mystery

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The Big Bow Mystery, by Israel Zangwill – one of the earliest “locked room” mysteries. All of the clues are in the story — but you’ll be surpised by the ending.

The fact that the mystery disappears after the second chapter in no way detracts from the joy of this book. From widowed boarding house attendants to freeloading artists to a detective that might as well be the anti-Sherlock Holmes, this is one of the funniest and meanest books to come out of the Victorian era.

Known primarily for Children of the Ghetto, Israel Zangwill was a Jewish Victorian writer with an eye for the foibles and idicoies of every day life. The mystery is not so much abandoned as seen from a societal basis. We have the glory hounds, the newspaper stories, the sensationalists, and the vendors who gather outside the scene of the murder to sell food to the tourists.

When the murderer is revealed, it’s a bit of a letdown, but the trip from the beginning to the end is so enjoyable that you don’t mind. (review from: The Big Bow Mystery – Paperback)

Israel Zangwill was an English humourist and writer.

Zangwill was born in London on January 21, 1864 in a family of Jewish immigrants from Czarist Russia (Moses Zangwill from what is now Latvia and Ellen Hannah Marks Zangwill from what is now Poland), he dedicated his life to championing the cause of the oppressed. Jewish emancipation, women’s suffrage, assimilationism, territorialism and Zionism (understood as a national liberation movement) were all fertile fields for his pen. His brother was also a writer, the novelist Louis Zangwill, and his son was the prominent British psychologist, Oliver Zangwill.

Zangwill received his early schooling in Plymouth and Bristol. When he was nine years old Zangwill was enrolled in the Jews’ Free School in Spitalfields in east London, a school for Jewish immigrant children. The school offered a strict course of both secular and religious studies while supplying clothing, food, and health care for the scholars; today one of its four houses is named Zangwill in his honour. At this school young Israel excelled and even taught part-time, moving up to become a full-fledged teacher. While teaching, he studied for his degree in 1884 from the University of London, earning a BA with triple honours.

After having for a time supported Theodor Herzl and the main Palestine-oriented Zionist movement, Zangwill, a British Jew, broke away from the established movement and founded his own organization, called the Jewish Territorialist Organization in 1905. Its aim was to create a Jewish homeland in whatever possible territory in the world could be found (and not necessarily in what today is the state of Israel). Zangwill died in 1926 in Midhurst, West Sussex after trying to create the Jewish state in such diverse places as Canada, Australia, Mesopotamia, Uganda and Cyrenaica. (via Wikipedia)

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Category: Books
Released: April 19, 2010
Publisher: Your Mobile Apps Inc
Price: $1.99 (buy app)

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