Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya: The Gothic Demonization of the Jew
In 1769, an odd little chapbook made its appearance in Hull, entitled The Wandering Jew, or, The Shoemaker of Jerusalem: Who Lived When Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Was Crucified, and By Him Appointed to Wander Until He Comes Again: With His Discourse With Some Clergymen About the End of the World. 1 This anonymous pamphlet was typical of much millenarian propaganda floating around at the time. But in this work, the Wandering Jew informs the Protestant clergymen that “before the End of the World the Jews shall be gathered together from all Parts of the World, and returned to Jerusalem, and live there, and it shall flourish as much as ever, and that they, and all others, shall become Christians, and that Wars shall cease, and the whole World live in Unity with one another” (7–8). The need to believe that the Other, the Jew, would become “one of us” was indeed strong across Europe, and the thinking was that if they could not be converted, then they could always be killed—for their own good, of course.
KeywordsJewish Identity Secret Society Jewish Question Ritual Murder Fatal Woman
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