Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version



Published in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 68:4 (October 2006), pp. 724-726. Copyright © 2006 Catholic Biblical Association of America.


Judith Anne Brown, the daughter of John Allegro, has written a fascinating account of her father’s life and career, in the process shedding a welcome light on one of the more maligned of the original editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. B. was able to draw on her father’s personal papers and family archives (especially those of her mother, Joan Allegro) in constructing her account, and the result is a fuller, more personal picture than one normally expects from a scholarly biography.

By far the most rewarding chapters of this biography for Dead Sea Scrolls aficionados will be the chapters dealing with Allegro’s work on the Scrolls in Jerusalem in the 1950s and early 1960s. B. quotes extensively from her father’s letters home to her mother and includes photographs of Jordanian Jerusalem and the Scrolls taken by Allegro in this period. The result is a lively portrait of an enthusiastic young scholar, entranced by his surroundings and fascinated by the Scrolls.

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