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Meeting an Immortal: Encounters with ‘The Wandering Jew’ in Britain

  • 20/06/2023
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

A Folklore Society Online Talk

by Simon Young

Tuesday 20 June, 18:00 BST

The ‘Wandering Jew’ was an important figure in Christian myth. Cursed by Christ to walk the earth until the second coming, he frequently, between the 1600s and the 1900s, visited Britain. Fortunately for those interested in folk-lore, these visits were recorded in chapbooks, newspapers, letters and periodicals. We see, in our sources, the ‘Wandering Jew’ begging for his dinner, breaking out of prison, arguing with university professors, curing invalids, running down vertical rock-faces, and, perhaps best of all, dowsing. During the talk, Simon Young examines a number of dubious early modern texts, unearths overlooked nineteenth-century ‘Wandering Jew’ stories, contemplates the strange credibility of the ‘Wandering Jew’ among the learned, and wonders why London (of all places) was the Wandering Jew’s favourite British watering hole.

Simon Young (University of California, Florence Campus [ACCENT]), is a folklore historian based in Italy. His recent publications include Nail in the Skull and Other Victorian Urban Legends and The Boggart: Folklore, History, Placenames, Legend and Dialect. He is editor, with Davide Ermacora, of Exeter University Press’s Exeter New Approaches to Legend, Folklore and Popular Belief series.

Tickets £6.00 (£4.00 for Folklore Society members with Promo Code: log in to the Members Only area to get the Promo Code), from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meeting-an-immortal-encounters-with-the-wandering-jew-in-britain-tickets-646522384857

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