1784-1854. Gibraltar merchant. In 1847 Don Pacifico's house was burnt down in a riot in Athens. The Greek government rejected his claim for compensation, and seized other real estate belonging to him. A British fleet was ordered by Palmerston, the prime minister, to sail into Piraeus harbour and compelled payment of the claim. In defending this celebrated action in the House of Commons, Palmerston declared stoutly that a British subject was entitled to protection whether he was a Jew or not.
1893-1967. US writer. In New York's literary society between the two world wars, Dorothy Parker held an unrivalled position as a master of satiric verse, repartee and biting reviews of books and plays. She first became known as a member of the famous Algonquin 'Round Table' luncheons of writers and wits. She also produced a number of short stories, especially in the New Yorker. A collection of her poems and stories, The Portable Dorothy Parker, was published in 1944, with a foreword by Somerset Maugham.
1885-1930. French artist. Pascin was one of the remarkable group of Jewish painters who formed the School of Paris, after World War I. Among other members were MODIGLIANI, CHAGALL and SOUTINE. They all were Expressionists in a highly individual way, outside the mainstream of French art at the time. All except Modigliani came from Eastern Europe, Pascin having been born in Bulgaria of a Sephardi father and a non-Jewish mother.
He was a brilliant draftsman rather than a painter and depicted human frailty with a sharp and satirical eye in the tradition of Goya, Hogarth and Toulouse-Lautrec. He first became known as a cartoonist for the German magazine Simplicissimus, and as a book illustrator, before settling in Paris. Restless by nature, he spent the war years in the United States, and after returning to Paris spent part of his time moving round Europe and North Africa, filling his sketch books.
Pascin's subjects were often unsavoury-harlots in provocative poses, and the denizens of the seedy cafes he frequented. Yet they were redeemed by his sinuous line and light delicate colour.
He was a man of poor health and in his later years was depressed by a chronic liver complaint, the result of his dissipated way of life. He committed suicide at the age of forty-five by hanging himself in his disorderly studio, on the day that an exhibition of his work was to be opened in an important gallery.
1859-1947. British socialist politician and writer. Webb was an early member of the Fabian Society, which rejected revolutionary Marxism in favour of what he called 'the inevitability of gradualness'. As colonial secretary in the second Labour government, he was responsible for Palestine. When murder-