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Miriam Kochan

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Miriam Kochan (1929[1] – 2018[1]) was an author and translator of popular history books.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Miriam Kochan was born in North London and was the daughter of Martin Buchler and Bessie Bradlaw.[1] Her parents were both children of Orthodox Rabbis from central and eastern Europe. When Miriam was 15, her mother died and she looked after her father until his death.[1] Kochan studied a London external degree at Exeter University (known as University College of the South West at the time).[1]


After finishing her studies, Kochan worked for Reuters as their first female graduate and received promotions from editorial assistant and gofer to journalistt.[1]

In 1951 she married the historian Lionel Kochan and the couple moved to Edinburgh in 1959, then to Norwich in 1964.[1] Kochan worked as a French-to-English translator, translating works such as Fernand Braudel's Capitalism and Material Life, 1400–1800 (1973) and the 3rd volume of Léon Poliakov's The History of Anti-Semitism (1975).[1]

She also wrote history books such as Life in Russia Under Catherine the Great (1969), Prisoners of England (1980) and Britain's Internees in the Second World War (1983). She also worked as a general editor of the Berg Women's Series.[1]

After moving to Oxford in 1969, Kochan introduced the O-level (and later GCSE) syllabus to the Oxford cheder (Hebrew class) and worked as a teacher for 45 years. Kochan was also a member of the Oxford Jewish community management board, the Bnai Brith and the Women's International Zionist Organisation.[1] She introduced the batmitzvah ceremony for girls aged 12 and above in 1970 and i it has since been practiced in Oxford and synagogues across the UK.[1]


Kochan's husband died in 2005, and she died in 2018 but is survived by her three children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Kochan, Nick (10 January 2018). "Miriam Kochan obituary". the Guardian. Retrieved 2023-01-27.

Category:1929 births Category:2018 deaths Category:British historians Category:British translators Category:Writers from London

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