Keith Pearce writes to us about his new book which will be publish around April / May of 2014…
The Jews of Cornwall – A History – Tradition and Settlement to 1913
Halsgrove pp. approx 650 & illustrations 100; hardcover £24.99. ISBN 978-0-85704-222-4
It is likely to be one of the most substantial books published on an aspect of Anglo-Jewish Provincial history and of a specialised aspect of Cornish history. It represents thirty years of research on my part, and has taken me some 15 years to compile.The book has 3 sections:The first deals with the persistent but unsubstantiated traditions and folklore which have linked Jews with Cornwall since ancient times, their putative role in the (medieval) stannries and in mining, and how the death of the Cornish language and the resulting linguistic and cultural confusion ascribed an early Jewish presence to Cornwall and meanings derived from Biblical roots to Cornish Place-Names.The second and third sections deal with the known and verifiable settlement of Jews in Cornwall in the 18th and 19th centuries.The second section: All of the names, families, biographies and trades of the most prominent Cornish Jews receive expensive coverage with separate chapters for the Jews of Falmouth, Penzance, Truro, Redruth and other towns of minor settlement. There are comprehensive Trade Directories incorporated into the chapters.There is also a chapter on Jews and Cornish Freemasonry.The third section: deals with Congregational & Religious Life. The background history to the two cemeteries (Falmouth and Penzance), with complete headstone transcriptions and translations.All of the Rabbis known to have served these 2 congregations are also covered in detail.There are extensive sections on the congregational affairs and concerns of the two communities in Falmouth and Penzance.Privately funded and part sponsored by the Cornish Jewish Community, Kehillat Kernow.