The Burghermeister's Daughter: Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town

Steven E. Ozment, Author
Steven E. Ozment, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (16p) ISBN 978-0-312-13939-1
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 227 pages - 978-0-06-097721-4
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Ozment (Protestants: The Birth of a Revolution) brings a medieval drama to life in this meticulously researched and engrossing narrative of the 30-year lawsuit between Anna Buschler (1496/98-1552) and her family. Anna's father, Burgermeister (mayor) of the German town of Schwabisch Hall, banished his daughter from the family home in 1525 after he read letters that confirmed her sexual involvement with two men. Anna responded by suing her father, and after his death her siblings, for disinheriting her. Ozment details the twists and turns of Anna's legal battle, which continued during her two marriages and resulted in her being shackled to a table for six months by her father and later jailed briefly by the town council. She escaped from both incarcerations. Although Anna was promiscuous, Ozment convincingly argues that the Burgermeister's treatment was overly severe, and Anna emerges in this account as an unusually resourceful and feisty woman. Illustrated. History Book Club selection. (Mar.)
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