Friday, January 26, 2007

When was the Vilna Gaon first mentioned in print in the English language?

That's what I want to know, and I've been researching it for some time. Here is the earliest I've so far found:

(click to enlarge)

This is from 1824, and is from a book called Missionary Journal and Memoir of the Rev. Joseph Wolf: Missionary to the Jews (nice, huh?).

The search is difficult because---what would he be called? Throughout the 19th century one finds him called many things; Elijah Wilno, Rabbi Elia, Elijah Gaon and more. I'm sure there's something earlier--and I will find it!

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