Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Author Guest Post - Michelle Cameron (& a Giveaway!)

* Congrats to lucky winner - Sarah *

Readers, please join me welcoming Michelle Cameron, author of The Fruit of Her Hands: The Story of Shira of Ashkenaz, who will be guest blogging here today.

Photobucket Photobucket

One of the themes I explore in my debut historical novel, The Fruit of Her Hands, is the deteriorating relationship between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe. Having been brought up on the sad picture of Isaac the Jew in Ivanhoe as my model for how Jews were treated in the Middle Ages, I was surprised to learn that the Church actually had a policy of tolerance towards Jews before the 1200s.

The reason for this attitude was described by Saint Augustine when he explained that Jews, as witnesses to the life and crucifixion of Jesus, were to be allowed to continue to worship as their forefathers did. Augustine felt strongly that Jews would eventually be won over to the True Faith, but while they were held in contempt, they were to be tolerated.

But this began to change during the 1200s. One of the first expressions of the change was the Church’s Fourth Lateran Council, which required that Jews and Saracens be identified by some item of clothing. This dictate was adopted in different ways throughout Europe. In France, where Shira, my heroine, was born, Jews wore a gold circle, called a rouelle or wagon wheel. In Lincoln, where Shira’s daughter would live, the badge was a yellow pair of tablets. These were precursors, of course, to the German star of David badge that Jews were forced to wear during the Nazi era.

The badge was not always enforced – Europe was far from homogenous in its treatment of its Jews ― but in 1267, the Vienna city council forced Jews to wear the Pileum cornutum, a cone-shaped headdress. Shira and her friends are forced to make these for the men in their community, and Shira is thinking of her husband’s discomfort as she reflects: “They called it the “horned hat,” laughing that it was roomy enough for Jews to hide their horns. Looking at Meir now, I saw there would be no mistaking him as a Jew in the middle of a crowd. Despite what I said to reassure him, the hat looked ridiculous.”

The stigma of being required to wear badges and hats would haunt Europe’s Jews. In time, the Church’s initial policy of tolerance would give way to suspicion, blood libels, and pogroms. In The Fruit of Her Hands, I explored not only the discrimination, but also the strength of the bonds – of faith and family – that allowed the Jewish people to withstand constant persecution and survive.

If you would like to learn more about the events surrounding the life of my ancestor, Meir of Rothenberg and The Fruit of Her Hands, please visit my Web site at www.michelle-cameron.com.

Thank you for that intriguing post, dear Author! Readers, your thoughts / comments are most welcome.


Photobucket
GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

To Enter
  • Tell me in the comments - What are your thoughts about racial prejudice? Have you ever personally encountered it? If yes, how have you dealt with it?
  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.


Deadline   Midnight CST of November 6, 2009.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!

______________________________________________________________________
If you like this post, then please consider subscribing to my Full Feed RSS.
You can also Subscribe by Email and have new posts sent directly to your inbox.

57 comments :

  1. As a child growing up my step-father was very racially prejudiced. I couldn't have any friends who were Hispanic or African American. Though I did behind his back anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a subscriber
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Email subscriber too.
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have your button in my fave sites marquee:
    http://babasfarmlife.blogspot.com/
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Facebook Fan
    Deborah Sloan
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Blog Follower
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Twitter/Tweet
    http://twitter.com/Babasfarmlife/status/4684614977
    djsloan1953@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think too many people are prejudiced. I have experienced prejudice, not racial, but prejudice nonetheless. It is indeed difficult when this happens, and sometimes, as in my case, impossible to resolve.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Email subscriber.


    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I haven't experienced racial prejudice, but I have observed it and been very upset. It is particularly unfair when people doom out an entire group for an arbitrary reason!

    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm an email subscriber!


    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have never personally encountered racial prejudice. I feel that racial prejudice is wrong, as all humans are equals.

    Sarah Emmerson

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a follower.

    Sarah Emmerson

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5060309124

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is a sad, never ending story. I believe most people have experienced some sort of prejudice in their life time and if they haven't, they will. There is always someone out their ready to judge you and your actions.
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Updates
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Add A Book Blogger's Diary Button
    http://copperllamastudio.blogspot.com/
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. a fan of A Book Blogger's Diary on Facebook
    Jaime P
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I follow blog
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5086870891

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  23. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5115560121

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  24. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5139555629

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  25. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5166003601

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  26. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5193458272

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have not experienced racial prejudice. But we should all be judged on whats on the inside.

    +1 I subscribe through email

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. i'm Asian (Filipino) and have moved back and forth from the US and the Philippines much of my life. My father is a doctor and did his residency in Boston. I came to the US for boarding school, college, grad school, and work at a law firm.

    There are times when people hadn't thought that I spoke English. Other people assumed that I wouldn't speak up for myself. I have encountered some racism, but the best way for me to deal with it is to identify it and get up the guts to call the person on it. There have been many times that I've just swallowed it but that tends to eat me up inside.

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. email subscriber

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/

    blogroll

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. googlereader subscriber

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. follower

    gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5222772087

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  34. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5279972410

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  35. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5307406124

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  36. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5378019594

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  37. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5413080792

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've lived in Africa, and South Africa, and I think racial prejudice sucks. I must say it goes both ways... I think it's important to recognize our differences while accepting one another as equals, but it's hard to do that when people place different values on certain characteristics.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I subscribe to your feed:

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. And I'm a follower: moziesme

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #1

    ReplyDelete
  42. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #2

    ReplyDelete
  43. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #3

    ReplyDelete
  44. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #4

    ReplyDelete
  45. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #5

    ReplyDelete
  46. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #6

    ReplyDelete
  47. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #7

    ReplyDelete
  48. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #8

    ReplyDelete
  49. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #9

    ReplyDelete
  50. We posted about this at Winning Readings

    http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/fruit-of-her-hands.html

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com
    #10

    ReplyDelete
  51. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5427866930

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  52. I subscribe via RSS feed.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  53. I subscribe via e-mail.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am a Facebook fan.

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  55. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5450181701

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  56. I follow you on Twitter and tweeted.

    http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/5500325876

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

    ReplyDelete
  57. This giveaway is now closed. The winner has been notified. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete