Norwich 1144 A Jew’s Tale
It is 1230 in Norwich, and Joseph the Crippled Jew, waiting to die at the hands of an angry mob, recalls with regret and joy the key role he played more than 80 years before in transforming his childhood friend into a martyred saint. This was the first modern accusation of the ritual murder of a Christian child by Jews, what was to become known as the Blood Libel.
The story of William of Norwich has echoed down the centuries in a great many similar accusations, riots, pogroms and wholesale genocide. Norwich 1144; A Jew’s Tale is the first novel based around the terrible, historically resonant events of this period.
Bill Albert has lived in Norwich for 45 years. This is his seventh and most ambitious novel.
‘Before reading ‘Norwich 1144, A Jew’s Tale’ I thought I knew the ‘story’ of William of Norwich quite well. However, Bill Albert’s excellent novel has made me think again about the story behind tragic events that, although distant in time, feel more human and real to me in the light of his imagination.’
Colin Howey – Local Historian
‘Bill Albert is a historian and a disability rights advocate as well as being a fine novelist. This fascinating and moving book finds him weaving together these skills in an unforgettable way.’
Tom Shakespeare – Academic & Broadcaster
‘A classic account of marginality, prejudice, conspiracy, hypocrisy, and quiet heroism, vividly bringing to life the perilous existence of a minority community in a hostile land, the making of a saint, and the unmaking of the man who loved the boy behind the myth. Compelling storytelling, comprehensively imagined, peopled by a large cast of believable characters, with a gripping mystery at the heart of the narrative. A triumph.’
Charles Davis – Novelist