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FRANKAU, English literary family. JULIA FRANKAU (1859–1916), novelist and critic, was a sister of the playwright James Davis (Owen Hall). Born in Dublin, she used the pseudonym "Frank Danby" for her fiction, and her first novel, Dr Phillips, a Maida Vale Idyl (1887), was a story of London Jewish life. Julia Frankau was an uneven craftsman, with an exuberant style. This is best shown in Pigs in Clover (1903), which deals with South Africans, Uitlanders, and Jews, all portrayed in lurid detail. In later life she held afternoon literary salons attended by many luminaries, including Max Beerbohm and Somerset Maugham. Her son GILBERT (1884–1952) maintained no connection with Judaism. He introduced Jews into his novels, treating them mostly in theatrical style. The Love Story of Aliette Brunton (1922) is a plea for the liberalization of English divorce law. Gilbert Frankau wrote two topical novelettes in verse, One of Them (1918) and One of Us (1919). He believed that the best antidote to the common antisemitic depiction of the Jews was Jewish patriotism, and was himself a strong rightwinger. Frankau was one of the most popular British novelists of the interwar period. He wrote an autobiographical novel, Self-Portrait (1940). His daughter PAMELA (1908–1967), who became a Catholic in 1942, was also a well-known novelist and magazine writer.


M.P. Modder, The Jew in the Literature of England (1939), 325–6. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: ODNB online for all three; J. Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (1998); T. Endelman, "The Frankaus of London," in: Jewish History (U.S.), Vol. 8, 1–2 (1994), 117–50.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.