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The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe

Thursday 7 April 2016

1 Hour


{related_entries id="evnt_loca"}The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe{/related_entries}



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Historian Dr Emily Rose explains how the so-called blood libel accusation of ritual murder against Jews arose in 12th-century England following the discovery of the mutilated body of William of Norwich outside the city’s walls.

Rose explains why the Norwich Jews and one banker in particular were accused of the ritual murder of William and how the malevolent story of a ritual murder performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion took hold and spread far beyond Norwich. She shows how the story continued to provoke instances of torture, death and expulsion of Jews centuries after its first appearance, and how it endures today despite the charge of ritual murder not withstanding historical scrutiny.

The Murder of William of Norwich has attracted widespread acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘The Murder of William of Norwich is one the most stimulating pieces of serious historical storytelling I have read all year.’ The Sunday Times

‘A landmark of historical research into the grotesque 800-year history of blood-libel accusations.’ Wall Street Journal

Rose is a historian who has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Villanova University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, and Baruch/CUNY. Here she talks to novelist and journalist Rebecca Abrams.