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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Medieval
  • Language:English
  • Pages:160
  • eBook ISBN:9781399917919

Licoricia of Winchester: Power and Prejudice in Medieval England

The Rise and Fall of a Remarkable Jewish Businesswoman

by Rebecca Abrams

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Licoricia of Winchester rose from obscurity to become the most successful female financier in early thirteenth century England. Royal favourite, businesswoman and single mother, her life spanned seven decades and was filled with dramatic highs and tragic lows. In this inspiring chronicle of an extraordinary Jewish woman, Rebecca Abrams tells the story of Licoricia and the Jews of medieval England, set against a backdrop of political unrest and rising antisemitism, opening a window onto a period of English history whose aftershocks linger to this day.
KEY POINTS: • Illustrated with 40 colour images and written in an accessible and engaging style • An inspiring portrait of an important Jewish medieval woman and her Jewish and Christian world • Explains the contribution of the Jewish community to English medieval society • Reveals the unique features of English antisemitism in the thirteenth century, many of which continue to inform anti-Jewish myths and stereotypes to this day • Draws important parallels between the treatment of Jews in medieval England and attitudes to ethnic and religious minorities in the recent past and in society today LICORICIA of WINCHESTER rose from obscurity to become the most successful female financier in thirteenth century England. Royal favourite, widow, potentate and prisoner, her life spanned seven decades and two civil wars and was filled with incredible highs and heart-breaking lows. Leading medievalist Robert Stacey describes Licoricia of Winchester as 'the most remarkable Jewish woman in medieval history'. And yet, her extraordinary story is not widely known. Licoricia's extraordinary career as a medieval financier took her to the heart of power in the early Plantagenet court, where she secured the personal patronage of King Henry III. But as a Jew, she also experienced at first hand terrible medieval antisemitism: violent attacks, degrading rules, punitive legislation, and the deaths of those she loved. Her own life ended tragically in 1277 when she was murdered in her home in Winchester. In this accessible and compelling new biography, author Rebecca Abrams gives Licoricia's story new life, setting it within the wider context of the Jewish community in medieval England at a time of profound political turbulence and rising anti-Jewish hostility. The book will appeal to a wide general audience, including teachers and educators, interested in medieval English history and Jewish history, with immense relevance for today.
About the author
Author Rebecca Abrams is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction and a lecturer in creative writing at Oxford University. Her publications include The Jewish Journey: 4000 years in 22 objects, and Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries. Her novel, Touching Distance, was shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize for Literature and won the MJA Open Book Award.
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