Lily Tobias

Lily Shepherd Tobias (1887–1984, EW) was a Welsh writer and activist born in Swansea.  She campaigned for suffrage, labour, peace, and a Jewish national home in Palestine. She wrote four novels, short stories, and plays.

Born to Polish-Jewish immigrants she grew up in the Welsh-speaking Swansea valley and spoke Yiddish as well as English and Welsh.  She wrote for the Welsh socialist newspaper Llais Llafur, but also penned four novels and many short stories.

Tobias’s nephews included poet Dannie Abse, psychoanalyst Wilfred Abse, and Labour MP Leo Abse.

She served on the executive council of the Foundation of Women Zionists of Great Britain and was also active when she moved to the Middle East. She died in Haifa aged 96.


  • The Nationalists (short stories)
  • My Mother’s House (1931)
  • Eunice Fleet (1933)
  • Tube (1935)
  • The Samaritan (1939)

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