The Jew in the Medieval Book: English Antisemitisms 1350-1500

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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.