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This article is an introduction to and summary of Eugène Sue's Le Juif Errant (The Wandering Jew). Le juif errant is a serially published novel, which attained incredible popularity in all of Paris, and beyond. Its publication, and that of its predecessor Les Mystères de Paris, single-handedly increased the circulation of the magazines in which they were published, influenced legislation on the Jesuits, and caused a general "jesuitophobie". The novel is over 800 pages long. Jump to: navigation, search Les Mystères de Paris is a French language novel by Eugène Sue (1804-1857) which was published in Journal des Débats from June 19, 1842 until October 15, 1843. ... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ...


Main characters

  • Gabriel, Jesuit missionary in America, Rennepont
  • Dagobert, friend of the Rennepont family and guardian of the orphans
  • Rose and Blanche, twin orphans and Renneponts coming from Siberia
  • Général Simon, father of Rose and Blanche, Rennepont, unknown to his daughters
  • Djalma, Indian prince, Rennepont, coming from the far east
  • Jacques Rennepont, Parisian workman
  • François Hardy, progressive factory owner, Paris
  • Adrienne de Cardoville, independently wealthy, Paris
  • Rodin, Jesuit clerk, in charge of stealing fortune
  • Père d'Aigrigny, head of the Jesuits in France, working with Rodin

Summary of events


The story is called Le juif errant, but the title is misleading. While the figure of the wandering jew will be familiar to readers from Christian folklore or other literary texts, this character plays a less-than minimal role in Le juif errant. The prologue of the text describes two figures who cry out to each other across the Bering strait. One is the wandering jew, the other his sister, Hérodiade. The wandering jew is also the cholera epidemic—wherever he goes, cholera comes in his wake. The wandering jew and Hérodiade are condemned to wandering the earth until the entire Rennepont family has disappeared from the earth. The connection: The descendants of the sister are also the descendants of Marius de Rennepont, persecuted under Louis XIV by the Jesuits. The brother and sister are compelled to protect this very family from all harm. After this first introduction, the two appear only very occasionally. Jump to: navigation, search As a noun, Christian is an appellation and moniker deriving from the appellation Christ, which many people associate exclusively with Jesus of Nazareth. ... A prologue (Greek πρόλογος, from προ~, pro~ - fore~, and lógos, word), or rarely prolog, is a prefatory piece of writing, usually composed to introduce a drama. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Wandering Jew by Gustave Doré The Wandering Jew is a figure from Christian folklore. ... Jump to: navigation, search Cholera (also called Asiatic cholera) is an infectious disease, caused by bacteria that are typically ingested by drinking water that is contaminated by improper sanitation, or by eating improperly cooked fish, especially shellfish. ... An epidemic is a disease that appears as new cases in the population in a period of time at a rate (the number of new cases in the population during a specified period of time is called the incidence rate) that substantially exceeds what is expected, based on recent experence. ... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonné) (September 5, 1638–September 1, 1715) reigned as King of France and King of Navarre from May 14, 1643 until his death. ... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ...

The Rennepont family is unaware that these protective figures exist, but they benefit from their protection in various ways, be it by being saved from scalping by the American Indians, or from languishing in prison. ...

The conflict

The Rennepont family lost its position and most of its wealth during the French persecution of the Protestants (after the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685). A small fortune was given to a Jewish banker immediately before the Renneponts dispersed all over Europe and Asia, and this fortune has grown into a huge sum. In 1682, the Rennepont family members each got a bronze medal telling them to meet back in Paris 150 years later, at which time the fortune will be divided among the surviving members. So much time has passed, however, that almost none of the still-living Renneponts have any idea why they need to come to Paris. They nevertheless set out from India, Siberia, America, France, and elsewhere to make their way to rue Saint-François #3 in Paris by February 13, 1832.

Important to note is that the members of the family are not only dispersed all over the world, but also all over the social ladder, as laborers, factory owners, princes and the independently wealthy. This protestant family is supposed to give us a good cross-section of French society. Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Edict of Nantes was issued on April 13, 1598 by Henry IV of France to grant French Protestants (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in a Catholic nation. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ...

Role of the Jesuits

The Jesuits have gotten wind of this huge fortune and want to get it for themselves. Their plan for accomplishing this is to have only the unwitting Gabriel, the Jesuit missionary, show up to claim the fortune. Since he is a monk and can have no possessions of his own, the fortune will go to the wily Jesuits. Gabriel's entry into the order is not accidental—it is his pious mother, manipulated by the Jesuits, who convinced him to become a Jesuit. Two Jesuits, the chief one among them named Rodin, and their multiple recruited accomplices are in charge of getting the money for the The Society of Jesus.

The Jesuits have spies and henchmen all over, from the remote Americas to Siberia, and they use them to put obstacles in the paths of the Renneponts as they make their way back to Paris. Moreover, they also spy on each other, demonstrating the degree of their evilness—they don't even trust each other! Jump to: navigation, search Siberia Siberia (Russian: , common English transliterations: Sibir’, Sibir; from the Tatar for “sleeping land”) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting almost all of northern Asia. ...

Main obstacles

Here are the various obstacles:

  • Gabriel, Jesuit missionary in America, Rennepont. No obstacles, because he is supposed to collect the fortune
  • Dagobert, friend of the Rennepont family and guardian of the orphans. Has his papers and the medal stolen by Morok, an animal tamer and accomplice of the Jesuits. Also has his horse, Jovial, murdered by Morok's panther. Forced to travel on foot without papers and arrested for vagrancy. Freed by Hérodiade. Lured to a false meeting with a notary pretending to have messages from General Simon.
  • Rose and Blanche, twin orphans and Renneponts coming from Siberia. Since under Dagobert's protection, they are also arrested and put in jail for vagrancy. Also, they are put in a convent by Dagobert's wife while Dagobert is at the notary meeting. She is made to swear by the Jesuits that she will not tell Dagobert where they are.
  • Général Simon, father of Rose and Blanche, Rennepont, unknown to his daughters. General Simon has been so long exiled from France and his family that he doesn't even know he has daughters. He thinks he has one son. He does not arrive for the meeting, either, although his situation is less clear than that of the others.
  • Djalma, Indian prince, Rennepont, coming from the far east. In Java, Djalma is accused of belonging to a murderous sect called the “Etrangleurs.” You can guess their vocation. One of the Jesuit henchmen tattoos Djalma with the Etrangleur tattoo on the inside of his arm while he is asleep. When he tries to prove that he is not one of them, he realizes that he has this tattoo and is therefore thrown in jail. This causes him to miss the boat to Paris. After arriving in Paris, he is poisoned by Farighea (who he thought his friend), but only so much that he goes into a prolonged sleep. The Jesuits then kidnap him.
  • Jacques Rennepont, Parisian workman. Given papers by his father that explain his fortune, but since he doesn't know how to read or write, he can't do much with it. The Jesuits send a money lender to him who lends him money he desperately needs. When he can't pay it back, they throw him in debtor's prison.
  • François Hardy, progressive factory owner, Paris. He is betrayed by his best friend. The Père d'Aigrigny uses this best friend to lure Hardy into the middle of France, ensuring that he will not arrive on February 13.
  • Adrienne de Cardoville, independently wealthy, Paris. Lives with her aunt, who is a former mistress of father d'Aigrigny (points to breaking vow of celibacy). The aunt, the abbot Aigrigny, and a Jesuit doctor Baleinier connive to put Adrienne in an insane asylum that happens to be right next to the convent where Rose and Blanche are trapped.

Only Gabriel shows up to the meeting, but at the last minute Hérodiade makes an appearance. Gabriel recognizes her from when she rescued him in the Americas. Hérodiade goes to a drawer and pulls out a codicil that explains that the parties have three and a half months from February 13 to present themselves. Upon this unexpected turn of events the père d'Aigrigny is fired, and Rodin replaces him. He decides to take more drastic action by using cholera to annihilate some of the Rennepont family. He maneuvers Rose, Blanche, and Jacques in front of the cholera epidemic and thereby rids himself of them. Codicil can refer to: An addition made to a will Any addition or appendix, such as a corollary to a theorem A poem by Derek Walcott This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

With François Hardy, Rodin shows him how Hardy's best friend betrayed him. He also arranges for Hardy's mistress to leave for the Americas, and has Hardy's treasured factory burn to the ground (all this on the same day). He takes refuge among the Jesuits, who persuade him to enter their order. (Book of Job style) The Book of Job (איוב, Standard Hebrew Iyyov, Tiberian Hebrew ʾIyyôḇ; Arabic أيّوب ʾAyyÅ«b) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, and is also one of the books of the Christian Old Testament. ...

Djalma falls in love with Adrienne, so the Jesuits use his passion to destroy him: they make Djalma think that Adrienne has been unfaithful, and he poisons himself. But he dies slowly and drinks only half the bottle, so there's plenty of time for Adrienne to find out what he's done and poison herself, too. (Romeo and Juliet style) Jump to: navigation, search Romeo and Juliet is a famous play by William Shakespeare concerning the fate of two young lovers. ...

Conclusion to the story

On the day of the second meeting, none of the Renneponts show up (Gabriel quit the Jesuits), and Rodin alone presents himself. But Samuel, the guardian of the house has realized the injustices happening and does two things: He brings the coffins of all the Renneponts back to show Rodin his evilness, and he burns the testament that would have given Rodin access to the money.

Gabriel and Hardy die as a matter of course, which means that the wandering Jew and Hérodiade can finally rest in peace. The last pages of the novel recount their final “death,” which they joyfully encounter.


  • Sue, Eugène. Le Juif Errant. 1844. Lyon: Éditions Cosmopolis, 1947.

  Results from FactBites:
MEMO - Le site de l'Histoire (1559 words)
Comme il le dit lui-même, Kierkegaard est, en effet, un «auteur religieux», et son œuvre est «religieuse» du commencement jusqu'à la fin, c'est-à-dire jusqu'au dixième numéro de l'Instant, sévère pamphlet anticlérical, auquel il travaillait encore au moment de sa mort.
Sous diverses formes, les écrits de Kierkegaard remettent en cause l'autorité de la religion officielle et les prétentions morales de l'Eglise chrétienne, qui, en l'espace de dix-huit siècles, a connu peu de procureurs aussi impitoyables que le philosophe danois; en même temps, ils s'attaquent à l'autorité de la raison et aux prétentions fondatrices du rationalisme.
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To this vein belong Les Lorettes, Les Actrices, Les Coulisses, Les Fasizionables, Les Gentilshommes bourgeois, Les Artistes, Les Dbardeurs, Clichy, Les Etudiants de Paris, Les Baliverneries parisiennes, Les Plaisirs champtres, Les Bals masques, Le Carnaval, Les Souvenirs du carnaval, Les Souvenirs du bal Chicard, La Vie des jeunes hommes, Les Patois de Paris.
He had now ceased to be director of Les Gens du monde; but he was engaged as ordinary caricaturist of Le Charivari, and, whilst making the fortune of the paper, he made his own.
Le Juif errant, by Eugene Sue (1843, 4 vols.
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