Bodmin, 1349: An Epic Novel of Christians and Jews in the Plague Years

Roberta Kalechofsky, Author Micah Publications $0 (438p) ISBN 978-0-916288-24-2
In her lively historical novel, the author of Justice, My Brother and Solomon's Wisdom examines life in the Black Death years, 1260-1349. The first half of the story follows Will, a York peasant who flees an apparently happy marriage for a monastery after discovering that his wife, Miriam, may be Jewish. The second part accompanies Miriam as she wanders through England and the continent, searching for her true lineage. Kalechofsky limns a realistic portrait of the lives of Christian peasants (heavily taxed and tithed, they are forced into serfdom by intense poverty to be serfs bound to the land), monks (their powerful position, and less-than-holy methods of making money and their rituals) and Jews (their indispensable but unsavory position as moneylenders, their brutal persecution by individual Christians and the European feudal governments), as well as the devastating yet equalizing effect of the Black Plague on the various groups. The skillful novel is grounded in well-documented data and provides a fascinating glimpse of the rich religious heritage of both Christians and Jews. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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