• The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century See large image

    The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Hardback) By (author) Joel F. Harrington

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    DescriptionIn the late 1500s a Nuremberg man named Frantz Schmidt began to do something utterly remarkable for his era: he started keeping a journal. But what makes Schmidt even more compelling to us is his day job. For forty-five years, Schmidt was an efficient and prolific public executioner, employed by the state to extract confessions and put convicted criminals to death. In his years of service, he executed 361 people and tortured, flogged, or disfigured hundreds more. Is it possible that a man who practiced such cruelty could also be insightful, compassionate, humane - even progressive? In his groundbreaking book, the historian Joel F. Harrington looks for the answer in Schmidt's journal, whose immense significance has been ignored until now. Harrington uncovers details of Schmidt's medical practice, his marriage to a woman ten years older than him, his efforts at penal reform, his almost touching obsession with social status, and most of all his conflicted relationship with his own craft and the growing sense that it could not be squared with his faith.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Faithful Executioner

    Title
    The Faithful Executioner
    Subtitle
    Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Joel F. Harrington
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 352
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 27 mm
    Weight: 517 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780809049929
    ISBN 10: 0809049929
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15500
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: BIO
    BIC subject category V2: BGH
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.2
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DFG
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JB
    BIC subject category V2: JKVP
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 03
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    Ingram Subject Code: BA
    Libri: I-BA
    DC22: B
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    Ingram Theme: CULT/GERMNY
    B&T General Subject: 431
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 19
    BISAC V2.8: HIS014000
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/16CNTY
    DC22: 364.66092
    BISAC V2.8: LAW027000, SOC030000
    B&T Approval Code: A15203030, A14203005
    BISAC V2.8: BIO006000, HIS037090
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: 1DFG, 3JB
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAW060000
    DC23: 364.66092
    BISAC region code: 1.3.2.0.0.0.0
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    LC classification: HV8551 .H374 2013
    LC subject heading: , ,
    Thema V1.0: JKVP, LAZ, DNBH, NHD, LNFX
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations, black & white line drawings, maps, frontispiece
    Publisher
    Hill & Wang Inc.,U.S.
    Imprint name
    Hill & Wang Inc.,U.S.
    Publication date
    15 April 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Joel F. Harrington is a professor of history at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of "The Unwanted Child," winner of the 2010 Roland H. Bainton Prize for History, as well as "Reordering ""Marriage and Society in Reformation Germany" and "A Cloud of Witnesses." He lives with his wife and two children in Nashville, Tennessee.
    Review quote
    "Fascinating . . . Engrossing . . . Harrington brings out the sheer strangeness of the past . . . In "The Faithful Executioner," Mr. Harrington has not only rescued the life of an individual from disgust and condescension but also, by focusing on a career in killing, brought a whole world back to life."--"The Wall Street Journal ""Remarkable . . . [A] fascinating exploration . . . this is a surprisingly modern, even topical story that poses difficult questions about capital punishment and what Harrington calls 'the human drive toward retribution.'"--"The Washington Post ""Fascinating . . . One of the pleasures of reading history is to be transported somewhere, even if we aren't sure we want to go."--"The Chronicle of Higher Education ""Equal parts enlightening and enjoyable." --"The Daily Beast ""[A] vividly drawn portrait . . . Harrington succeeds in deftly taking us beyond Schmidt's biography to address broader questions. Finely researched and crafted."--"History Today ""A fascinating read."--"Publishers Weekly ""Surprisingly poignant . . . A whole teeming world of Reformation Germany comes alive."--"Kirkus Reviews ""This is a precious story that Harrington has drawn from the journal and archival records, a braiding of Schmidt's words with a re-creation of Schmidt's world, a story that is at once inclusive and atmospheric, deeply intimate and rare . . . It is a wonder-making world, made manifest by an artful historian's hand."--"Barnes & Noble Review ""Who can imagine how an executioner feels about his trade? Joel F. Harrington has written a considered and fascinating book that 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 re-creates the social context for the flamboyant displays of cruelty that later centuries find so hard to compreh