John Gross was something of an old-fashioned man of letters. Indeed, he devoted a memorable book to the subject — The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters: English Literary Life Since 1800. Gross died last week at the age of 75. Gross’s friend Roger Kimball remembers him in “A tonic, humane, and civilizing force.” Gross’s fellow countryman Charles Moore also remembers him in “A Jewish boy’s profound faith in England.”
Moore’s column cites Gross’s book Shylock: Four Hundred Years in the Life of a Legend. Both Kimball and Moore draw on Gross’s memoir A Double Thread: Growing Up English and Jewish in London. Like Gross himself, the books are civilized and civilizing forces.
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