Daniel Kelson Quotes

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Mendoza the Jew and Religious Tolerance
Religious prosecution against Jews was prevalent all throughout European history. The story of Daniel Mendoza in Schechter and Clarke’s graphic history novel Mendoza the Jew perfectly embodies religious prosecution in eighteenth century England. Daniel Mendoza, an 18th century Jewish boxer, fought a battle in and out of the ring against religious prosecution in late 1700’s England. Being born into a deeply religious Jewish family Daniel learned the importance of his faith from a young age, and stood up for it his entire life. Although Jews like Daniel had the opportunity to improve their social and economic positions many Englishmen were not tolerant of people of the Jewish belief. The Spanish Inquisition
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Daniel opened up a new boxing “academy” in the “more fashionable” west end of London. Many Englishmen realized the value of learning the art of boxing but were extremely hesitant to learn from the sport from a Jew. One Englishmen said to another “I feel a little uneasy taking a boxing lesson from a Jew.” The people of London, especially upper class, felt uneasy about a Jewish man being in any position of power. This is exemplified again by Daniel’s once friend Mr. Reynolds. Reynolds gave Mendoza his winnings, as a gift, after a fight once and then reported to the authorities that Daniel failed to repay him the twenty gunnies that he “lent” him. Daniel speculated that it was due to him beginning to back another boxer and wanting to drive away profit from Mendoza. In reality Mendoza the Jews authors want us to read between the lines. Mr. Reynolds view of Daniel is equivalent to the Englishman who felt uneasy about taking lessons form a Jew. Once Mendoza accumulated power and prominence in London many Catholic men felt threatened by his stature, one of these men was Mr. Reynolds. Reynolds felt that he was better off financially backing catholic boxers, not a Jew. Reynolds entire attempt to tarnish Mendoza’s reputation is an implicit demonstration of a lack of religious tolerance in 18th century London that takes place throughout Mendoza the

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