Gertrude Himmelfarb, 1922 - 2019

“This is the final lesson we may learn from the Victorians: that the ethos of a society, its moral and spiritual character, cannot be reduced to economic, material, political, or other factors, that values—or better yet, virtues—are a determining factor in their own right. So far from being a ‘reflection,’ as the Marxist says, of the economic realities, they are themselves, as often as not, the crucial agent in shaping those realities.”

—Gertrude Himmelfarb, The De-Moralization of Society.



Gertrude Himmelfarb, known to her friends as Bea Kristol, was widely considered the leading twentieth-century authority on the culture of Great Britain in the Victorian era. She was the second of two children born into a Russian-Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York on August 8, 1922.
[Read More]


Gertrude Himmelfarb (1922-2019) was a distinguished author and social critic who specialized in the intellectual history of the Victorian era. Her sixteen books—published between the ages of 30 and 95—ranged in genre from biography to historiography to essay to polemic. Among her many subjects were Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, Edmund Burke, George Eliot, Adam Smith, Albert Einstein, the Enlightenment, postmodernism, philosemitism, and Methodism.
[Read More]

Featured Essays

Featured Video

A tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb from the 2020 Conference of the “Estoril Political Forum” (Portugal).

Featured Commentary