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The Jew in the Medieval Book
English Antisemitisms 1350–1500

$37.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Author: Anthony Bale, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521142038

$ 37.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This interdisciplinary study explores images of Jews and Judaism in late medieval English literature and culture. Using four main categories - history, miracle, cult and Passion - Anthony Bale demonstrates how varied and changing ideas of Judaism coexisted within well-known anti-semitic literary and visual models, depending on context, authorship and audience. He examines the ways in which English writers, artists and readers used and abused the Jewish image in the period following the Jews' expulsion from England in 1290. The texts are analysed in their manuscript and print contexts in order to show local responses and changing meanings. This important work opens up fresh texts, sources and approaches for understanding medieval anti-semitism and shows how anti-semitic stereotypes came to be such potent images which would endure far beyond the Middle Ages.

    • Provides a fresh generic framework for medieval texts representing Jews and Judaism
    • Uses manuscript and archive sources to uncover the culture of antisemitism
    • Includes appendices providing hard-to-find primary texts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A tremendous book...meticulously researched and lucidly composed..."
    -Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Studies in the Age of Chaucer

    "outstanding...nuanced and historically grounded..."
    -Bryan Cheyette, Times Literary Supplement

    " important contribution..."
    -Nina Caputo, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    "Bale ably combines capacious palaeographical study, insightful multidisciplinary readings, and fully documented and beautifully written prose...This book is an important critical resource and will find a place on bookshelves now and for years to come. Even more, Bale's The Jew in the Medieval Book is a pleasure to read."
    -Miramne Ara Krummel, Medium Aevum

    "The Jew in the Medieval Book is an outstanding contribution...Bale is fluent in the latest theoretical innovations and very much engaged with confronting the ugly role that antisemitism continues to play on the world stage. What is so impressive about this volume is the way that Bale manages to weave this theoretical sophistication together with his smart and learned understandings of these medieval objects...This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in medieval representations of Jews, but its deep engagement with history and with manuscript culture should make this book important to many other scholars as well...I strongly recommend it to anyone with interests in medieval spirituality, manuscript studies, and questions of gender and sexuality."
    -Lisa Lampert Weissig, Speculum

    "Among the many strengths of this book is the acute attention that Bale pays to every layer of textuality, from the play that words and prose are arranged on the page to the subtle interplay between stock narratives or images and the greater text into which medieval authors fit them." --Nina Caputo, University of Florida: Religious Studies Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521142038
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction
    2. History: time, nationhood and the Jew of Tewkesbury
    3. Miracle: shifting definitions in 'The miracle of the boy singer'
    4. Cult: the resurrections of Robert of Bury
    5. Passion: the Arma Christi in medieval culture
    Appendix 1: Versions of 'The miracle of the boy singer'
    Appendix 2: John Lydgate, 'Praier to St Robert'
    Appendix 3: Vernacular English Arma Christi image-text rolls and codices
    Appendix 4: Verses on the Arma Christi

  • Author

    Anthony Bale, Birkbeck College, University of London
    Anthony Bale's research interests are in histories and theories of 'antisemitism', late medieval English literature, culture and popular religion, the poetry of John Lydgate, visual and intermedial artefacts, the history of the pre-expulsion medieval English Jewish community, late medieval travel literature, and the histories of blood libel and ritual murder.

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