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The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Anglais) Broché – 31 décembre 2013

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4,2 étoiles sur 5 64 commentaires provenant des USA

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Broché, 31 décembre 2013
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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié.
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Description du produit

Revue de presse

"A surprisingly moving story of brutality and redemption" (Dan Jones Telegraph)

"Opens a window on a gruesome world" (Daily Express)

"Who can imagine how an executioner feels about his trade? Joel F. Harrington has written a considered and fascinating book which helps us hear the voice of one such man, a professional torturer (and healer) who, astonishingly, kept a diary. Exploring both sixteenth-century Nuremberg and the world about the city, he recreates the social context for the flamboyant displays of cruelty which later centuries find so hard to comprehend. Both the executioner and his victims are rescued from our condescension, and restored to their own moral universe: which is not so far from ours as we like to suppose." (Hilary Mantel)

"This is a sympathetic, intelligent and surprisingly tender book" (Dan Jones The Times)

"Harrington does an excellent job at recreating the thoughts and fears of a man whose job is one of the most loathed and caricatured" (Ben Wilson Daily Telegraph) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Welcome to the world of Frantz Schmidt: citizen of Nuremberg, executioner of 394 unfortunates, and torturer of many hundreds more.

Most unusually for his times, Frantz was also a diarist. Drawing deeply on this exceptional and overlooked record that he kept for over forty-five years, The Faithful Executioner takes us deep inside his world and his thinking. But the picture that emerges is not of a monster. Could a man who routinely practiced such cruelty also be insightful, compassionate - even progressive?

Young Frantz enters the trade as the Apprentice, following in his father's footsteps. Later, as the Journeyman, he travels the roads of Franconia, learning to reconcile his desire for respectability with his violent work. After a lifetime working amid human cruelty, tragedy, injustice and simple misfortune as the Master in Nuremberg, Frantz has become a moralist and storyteller, the Sage. And, in the closing chapters of his life, retired now from his role as executioner, he is the Healer, running the large medical practice that he always viewed as his true vocation.

The Faithful Executioner is the biography of an ordinary man struggling to overcome an unjust family curse and a panorama of a Europe poised on the cusp of modernity, a world with startling parallels to our own.

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Like stepping back into another, darker, time. Excellent book. 19 mars 2013
Par D. Graves - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Some books are engrossing: you don't want to stop reading. This is as engrossing a book as you'll ever read - and it's non-fiction.

Think of it: the diary of an executioner of the late 1500s to early 1600s - a time when thousands were brutally tortured and put to death by barbaric means - has been preserved. Further, the man and his journal entries are then made the centerpiece of a detailed and captivating social history of the time and place in which he carried out his 361 executions, a history entirely different than what the common reader might expect. This is, in fact, what this excellent book is all about. As a lover of history, I cannot recommend this volume highly enough; it is like stepping back into another, darker, time.

The story of Meister Frantz Schmidt (b. 1555, d. 1634), executioner of Nuremberg from 1578 to 1617 (after a bloody "apprenticeship" in Bamberg from 1573 to 1578) is one you will not soon forget. It is not a story for the squeamish. However, the author does not serve horror for horror's sake: the times were, in fact, horrific. Executions were carried out by garoting (rope), sword, breaking wheel (for the most violent of criminals), burning (for those considered worse than violent criminals: counterfeiters and homosexuals), and drowning. Schmidt made diary entries for each of his 361 executions, the latter ones more detailed than the earlier, as well as for the 345 "light" punishments of cutting off an ear or finger, or flogging. However, these violent events only punctuate the social history of Schmidt's life and times; not only the crimes and criminals which kept the executioner steadily employed (and, in fact, fairly wealthy) but the societal structure of crime and punishment and of the executioner's place in that society.

Frantz Schmidt was a truly fascinating man who, after retirement as executioner, became a man of medicine, and who, upon his death, was given a state funeral. His diaries have been published since 1801. However, it is the expertise of a historian, the author, which gives us such an engrossing, well-rounded picture of the man and his times. One of the best books on history I have ever read.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Integrity 19 décembre 2013
Par J. Brian Watkins - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Couldn't put the book down until I finished. The premise is startling--a man tasked with the regular torture and execution of criminals manages to preserve not only his own sanity and self-respect, but obtains some grudging measure of respect from his society. What is the secret to his success? My reading of his story was that he lived a life of integrity--he chose to act according to self-imposed rules that he believed would demonstrate respect for law and order. He chose to confront the sobering responsibilities that he was born to by becoming the most sober man in the city.

This guy lived the Milgram Experiment--when authority directed him to punish in any number of horrific ways, he complied. It was a job and it appears that he didn't enjoy inflicting pain but saw his role as a necessary evil if society was to be protected. Having read this book, one appreciates the value of the rule of law. Perhaps we could not have the degree of societal respect for the rules we currently enjoy without a history of crucifixions and torture, but it is not impossible to revisit the days and times of our ancestors who dealt with the same basic problems we do and try to think of whether or not our society has truly evolved.

My take on the book was that one can find success despite any obstacles that society or circumstance may impose. It takes hard work, unyielding ethics and a great deal of patience; characteristics that are as necessary in today's world as they were in the 16th century.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating look into an ancient profession. 7 avril 2015
Par Linda C. Schiess - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
It's a topic that won't appeal to everyone, but it is a fascinating look into the history of the executioers occupation. It covers the apprenticeship, how they were treated by the rest of the population, ostracized and how they had their own fraternal order of professionals with annual conferences.
The gentlemans journal opens a whole new perspective to the profession, which also served as Doctor and phamacist in may rural towns of the time. It also describes how sons studied under their fathers starting as early as age 10 by assissting with prepe and cleanup and by 16 were practicing with the equipment to prepare for their first event.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wow--Just Wow 8 août 2013
Par Steven Ramirez - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is simply amazing. I was engrossed from beginning to end. What starts out as a straightforward journal written by a teetotalling German executioner in the 16th century becomes a vibrant history demonstrating that this period was not only violent but magical.

Who knew that executioners regularly practiced the healing arts? Or that the body parts of the recently dead were thought to possess medicinal benefits? Or that once an executioner, always an executioner--and your children too?

Joel Harrington writes in a clear, compelling style that was a joy to read. His research is superb, and his wise conclusions about the life of Meister Frantz Schmidt and what he desperately wanted for his family are both inspiring and heartbreaking.

Read this book. That is all.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well researched and written 21 juin 2013
Par Fast Eddy - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book is well researched and written, providing many insights into the life and culture in the late 16th and early 17th centuries in Nuremberg which is today a city in the German Republic. The book is particularly insightful because it offers up history from the unique perspective of an official executioner and his struggle to lift his name and family into respectability and citizenship at a time when the official executioner was viewed as someone who was necessary but should otherwise stay out of sight and not mingle with respectable folks. If you enjoy European history, this is definitely a book for you.
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