London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1841. First UK edition. Hardcover. Quarto. xvi, 208pp. Lavishly rebound in modern blue morocco over blue marbled paper boards, with gilt ruling on the covers and spine. Spine with raised bands and gilt lettering. Gilt edges of book block. Original yellow endpapers. An presentational copy from Loewe, the translator, to George William Frederick Villiers, the 4th Earl of Clarendon (1800-1870), with a respectful inscription in ink at the top of the title page.
"The purpose of my book," says Levinsohn, "is to acquit the Jews before the eyes of Christians, and to save them from the false accusation of using Christian blood." "Efes Dammim" is written in the form of a dialogue between a patriarch of the Greek Church in Jerusalem, Simias, and the chief rabbi in the Jewish synagogue there. The book shows the remarkable dialectic talent of the author. It was completed in 1834, published in 1837, republished three times. The work was translated into English at the time of the "Damascus Affair" in 1841 (a similar instance of the blood libel in the Middle-East) at the instance of Sir Moses Montefiore and Adolphe Crémieux. The translator of this first English-language edition was Jewish linguist and orientalist Dr. Louis Loewe (1809–1888), who had been traveling with Montefiore at this time. It is likely this this presentational copy was inscribed and given by Loewe to the Earl of Clarendon at the time he was serving as the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1853-1858). It was translated also into Russian (1883) and German (1884; another German edition appeared in 1892).
Minor damp staining and smudges to interior covers and endpapers. Foxing to title page and a few of the initial pages. Minor age toning to the edges of pages throughout. Interior quite clean overall. Marginal water staining from p.169-176. Binding in fine, interior in very good condition overall. vg to fine. Item #50093