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.
Article on William of Norwich and Norwich 1144 A Jew's Tale
Before reading '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 and 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. With wry humour and a sharp eye for the foibles of humanity, Albert tells a tragic story touched by an undercurrent of farce that occasionally bubbles to the surface without ever detracting from the drama of the events he describes. Compelling storytelling, comprehensively imagined, peopled by a large cast of believable characters, with a gripping mystery at the heart of the narrative.
Charles Davis - novelist
Book launch of Norwich 1144 A Jew's Tale.
For Bill's forays into the worlds of : English History, Latin American History, genetics, disability and development cooperation