The Protean Jew in the Vernon Manuscript

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Chaucer and the Jews




"Jews were expelled from England in 1290, about half a century before Geoffrey Chaucer's birth. But Jews and their culture continued to play in important role in the English Christian imagination throughout the late Middle Ages, in the work of Chaucer and his contemporaries. How were writers enabled to represent Jews in their absence, and why did they want to do so?" "These questions are explored for the first time in a pioneering collection of essays edited by Sheila Delany. Contributions from eminent historians and literary scholars examine the influence of theology, politics, folklore, visual art, and domestic and social life in producing a multivalent tradition of representing Jews in medieval English literature. Chaucer's work is the main focus of the volume, and other late medieval texts offer further avenues of investigation. Two essays on current pedagogy conclude the volume, bringing its subject into the range of immediate concerns of teachers today. Chaucer and the Jews will be a discovery for readers seeking a fresh perspective on Jewish studies, medieval literature, and life in medieval England."--Jacket