In a new book, Norman Lebrecht of the Daily Telegraph wonders if Jews' outsider status - and Talmud tradition - enabled them to think differently

Arriving in London in July 1833, Felix Mendelssohn headed straight to the House of Commons.

Hailed as the most gifted composer since Mozart and the most Lutheran since Bach, Mendelssohn was gripped by what the press were calling the "Jew Bill", a heated political debate over whether Jewish citizens of the United Kingdom should be granted equal rights.

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