The Decline and Expulsion of the Medieval Jews of York

In an age of increasingly chronic ‘minority problems’, it is not hard to see why the sombre story of the Jewish experience in Angevin and Plantagenet England con? tinues to weave its fascinating spell. Certainly no medievalist can afford to ignore the inability of Euro? pean Christendom to come to satisfactory terms with its most significant internal racial and religious minor? ity group. All allowances made for ways of thought and for cultural influences radically unlike our own, that failure will always remain inexcusable; and although the twelfth and thirteenth centuries may not have been the most tragic of all eras in the melancholy history of anti-Jewish sentiment and policy, the course of Anglo-Jewish relations between the Norman Con? quest and the Expulsion of 1290 was considerably darker than anyone today could wish. Moreover, its history is also dark in quite a different sense of the word. Despite the ever-increasing

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