About the Book
Written in 1844, Eugene Sue’s novel The Wandering Jew was originally published as a series – our copy, unlike the earliest 10-volume editions, is complete in one volume. The novel is said to be “virulently anti-Catholic), because it paints the Jesuits in an unfavourable light.
The novel, although titled The Wandering Jew, has very little to do with the myth of the Wandering Jew (the one banished to wander the earth eternally). Instead it revolves around the Rennepont family, whose members are forced to scatter throughout the earth after the French persecution of the Protestants. Each family member is given a medallion to be passed down from generation to generation, with an inscription on the medallion instructing all the members of the family to meet in France in February 1832. The purpose of this meeting is to distribute the family fortune, which was handed to a Jewish banker.
In the course of the novel, the Rennepont descendants attempt to make their way to France from all over the world. However they are pursued by the Jesuits, who are interested in keeping the fortune for themselves. The Jesuits use their extensive spy network to trace these descendants and find ways to thwart their attempts.
About Eugène Sue (from Wikipedia):
Joseph Marie Eugène Sue (20 January 1804 – 3 August 1857) was a French novelist.
He was born in Paris, the son of a distinguished surgeon in Napoleon’s army, and is said to have had the Empress Joséphine for godmother. Sue himself acted as surgeon both in the Spanish campaign undertaken by France in 1823 and at the Battle of Navarino (1828). In 1829 his father’s death put him in possession of a considerable fortune, and he settled in Paris.
He published a number of anti-Catholic novels, including the Mysteries of Paris, which was banned in France immediately after publication. His novel Mathilde contains the first known expression of the proverb, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”.