Rhaïs, Elissa (Rosine Boumendil)
(401 words)

Elissa Rhaïs, née Rosine Boumendil, was born in Blida, Algeria in 1876 and died in France in 1940. She first appeared on the French literary scene in 1919, presented by her publisher, Plon, as a barely educated Algerian Muslim girl from a harem. It was later discovered that she was actually Jewish and had no personal experience of a harem. In 1939, when she was about to receive the Légion d’Honneur, a scandal arose surrounding the authorship of her works, alleging that she was illiterate and they had been written by her nephew, Raoul-Robert Tabet. In 1982 Tabet’s son Paul attempted to prove t…

Cite this page
Julie Strongson-Aldape, “Rhaïs, Elissa (Rosine Boumendil)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 26 April 2017
First published online: 2010



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