Transnationalism, the Urban & Migration in the Victorian Era: the Lives of Henry & Sophia Morwitch

in International Migrations in the Victorian Era
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Henry and Sophia Morwitch led urban lives in diverse cities of Europe and Australasia for a century from the 1830s to 1930s as part of mostly small Jewish Diasporas – a group with complex relationships to both the British Empire and colonies in which they settled. By the time of their return to England and subsequent deaths there in early decades of the twentieth-century they had become wealthy through commerce and property investment. This chapter examines their international and transcolonial migrations, travels, business ventures, and immersion in the urban environments of Britain, Europe and Australasia over a period of seventy years. It utilises the life story of one couple, which spanned great distances and spaces of time, in order to explore how migrant identities might develop in the urban settler colonial context. Their story lives illustrate the interconnectedness of the physical and social spaces of the nineteenth-century world through entwined networks created by ties of family, religion, commerce, political ideology, social groups and regional loyalties.

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