Benjamin Farjeon

Novelist, Author

1838 – 1903

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Who was Benjamin Farjeon?

Benjamin Leopold Farjeon was a British novelist, playwright, printer and journalist. As an author, he was known for his huge output.

Farjeon was born in London to Dinah Levy and Jacob Farjeon, Orthodox Jews. He was raised in Whitechapel and had no formal secular education. At fourteen, he entered the office of the Nonconformist, a Christian journal, to learn the printing trade. He broke away from the strict faith of his father and in 1854 immigrated to Australia. During the voyage he was moved from steerage to cabin class because he had produced some numbers of a ship newspaper, the Ocean Record.

Farjeon worked as a gold miner in Victoria, started a newspaper, then went to New Zealand in 1861. He settled at Dunedin, working as a journalist on the Otago Daily Times, edited by Julius Vogel. Farjeon became manager and sub-editor. He began writing novels and plays. He attracted the attention of Charles Dickens. In 1868 he returned to Britain and lived in London in the Adelphi Theatre. Over the next thirty-five years he produced nearly sixty novels. Many of his works were illustrated by his long-time friend Nicholas Chevalier.

Farjeon married Margaret Jane "Maggie" Jefferson, daughter of the American actor Joseph Jefferson, on 6 June 1877. He was the father of J. Jefferson Farjeon, Eleanor Farjeon, Herbert Farjeon, and Harry Farjeon. He died in Hampstead on 23 July 1903, aged 65.

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May 12, 1838
Also known as
  • Benjamin Leopold Farjeon
  • B.L. Farjeon
  • B. L. Farjeon
  • Judaism
  • England
Lived in
  • Otago Region
  • London
Jul 23, 1903

on July 23, 2013


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