Module Identifier ENM1320  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator To Be Arranged  
Semester Available semesters 1 and 2  
Other staff Dr Claire Jowitt  
Course delivery Seminar   2 hours per week  
Assessment Essay   1 x 5,000 word essay    


Though Jewish peoples were officially expelled from England on the 18th July 1290, the figure of 'the Jew' continued to be a powerful imaginative focus for Christian English commentators. In the late-sixteenth and early-to-mid-seventeenth centuries in particular representations of Jewish peoples underwent many transformations. From descriptions of Jews as alien people of dark colour and distinctive smell to representations of Jews as occupying a crucial role in ushering in the long-awaited apocalypse, this module explores the varied and often contradictory ways in which English people thought about 'Jews'. During the first three weeks of this module we will be focusing on fictional representations of Jewish peoples. However, the imagined mid-century apocalyptic decades brought renewed contact between English Protestants and Jews. As the issue of Jewish readmission to England became increasingly urgent, Christian commentators entered into dialogue directly with Jewish peoples. The latter part of the module focuses on these political and religious pamphlets.

1. Fictions of Difference

   Christopher Marlowe, "The Jew of Malta" (1589-91) (any edition)

2. 'The Pound of Flesh': Ritual Murder, Sexuality and Circumcision

   William Shakespeare, "The Most Excellent Historie of the Merchant of Venice" (1600) (any edition)
   Elizabeth Cary, "The Tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Jewry" (1613) (Keele University Press, 1996)

3. Destabilizing Difference?

   Francis Bacon, "The New Atlantis" (1627) in "Francis Bacon: A Critical Edition of the Major Works", ed. Brian Vickers
   (O.U.P. 1996)
   Gerrard Winstanley, "The True Levellers Standard Advanced" (1649) in "Selected Writings", ed. Andrew Hopton,
   (Aporia, 1989)
   Joshua Garment, "The Hebrews Deliverance at Hand" (1651) (xerox)

4. The Jewish Question and the Debate about Readmission

   Menasseh Ben Israel, "The Hope of Israel" (1652) ed. Henry Mechoulan & Gerard Nahon (OUP, 1987).
   William Prynne, "A Short Demurrer to the Jewes" (1656) (xerox)
   Joseph Copley, "The Case of the Jewes is Altered" (1656) (xerox)
   Thomas Collier, "A Brief Answer" (1656) (xerox)
   John Drury, "A Case of Conscience, Whether it be Lawful to Admit Jewes into a Christian Commonwealth" (1656) (xerox)

5. Readmission and After: A Case Study

   Margaret Fell, "For Menasseh Ben Israel. The Call of the Jewes out of Babylon" (1656) (xerox)
   Margart Fell, "A Loving Salutation to the Seed of Abraham among the Jewes" (1657) (xerox)
   Margaret Fell, "A Call to the Universal Seed of God" (1665) (xerox)
   Margaret Fell, "A Call unto the Seed of Israel" (1668) (xerox)


Select Bibliography

David Katz, "Sabbath and Sectarianism in Seventeenth-Century England" (Brill, 1988)

David Katz, "The Jewes in the History of England 1485-1850" (Clarendon, 1994)

Bonnelyn Young Kunze, "Margaret Fell and the Rise of Quakerism" (Macmillan, 1994)

Frank E Manuel, "The Broken Staff: Judaism Through Christian Eyes" (Harvard University Press, 1992)

Richard H Popkin, ed., "Millenarianism and Messianism in English Literature and Thought" (University of California Press, 1988)

James Shapiro, "Shakespeare and the Jews" (Columbia University Press, 1996)

Nigel Smith, "Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660" (Clarendon, 1989)