The Burgermeister's Daughter

The Burgermeister's Daughter

Scandal in A Sixteenth-century German Town

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
Examines the battle between Anna Buschler and her father

Blackwell North Amer
Historian Steven Ozment's haunting story examines the brutal legal battle between Anna Buschler and her powerful father, the burgermeister of the imperial German City of Schwabisch Hall and a local hero, in the first half of the sixteenth century. A frequent subject of gossip because of her garish dress and flirtatious behavior, Anna was banished from her father's house after she was caught in secret, simultaneous love affairs with two men - one a member of royalty, the other a cavalryman.
After being forced from her home, she brought suit against her father, charging him with abandonment in the very chambers over which he had presided. He responded by taking her captive and chaining her to a table for six months, before she escaped and took up her case again, now adding abuse to the charge of abandonment. Thus began nearly thirty years of on-and-off litigation between Anna and her father, her siblings, and the city council of Hall, as she fought disinheritance and impoverishment. In her legal battles, as in her personal life, she defied the accepted standards of behavior for the women in her age.
Drawing on rare surviving love letters and extensive court records, The Burgermeister's Daughter recaptures Anna's compelling story from the perspectives of the combatants and the testimony of more than forty citizens, shedding light on the politics of sexuality, gender, and family, and demonstrating what a determined woman might do at law even in the Middle Ages. However, the morals of Anna's story reach far beyond the sixteenth century, teaching the modern reader universal lessons about surviving unrightable wrongs and maintaining human dignity through even the most degrading circumstances.

& Taylor

Examines the tragic sixteenth-century battle between Anna Bu+a5schler and her powerful father, burghermeister of the imperial German city of Schwa+a5bisch Hall, which resulted from her secret love affairs with two men.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, c1996
ISBN: 9780312139391
Branch Call Number: 943.471 OZM
Characteristics: xi, 227 p. ; ill. 24 cm


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Jul 12, 2017

In an era when women were supposed to be disciplined and obedient, Anna proved to be neither. Defying 16th-century social mores, she was the frequent subject of gossip because of her immodest dress and flirtatious behavior. When her wealthy father discovered that she was having secret, simultaneous affairs with a young nobleman and a cavalryman, he turned her out of the house in rage, but when she sued him for financial support, he had her captured, returned home and chained to a table as punishment. Anna eventually escaped and continued her suit against her father, her siblings and her home town in a bitter legal battle that was to last 30 years and end only upon her death. Drawn from her surviving love letters and court records, The Burgermeister's Daughter is a fascinating examination of the politics of sexuality, gender and family in the 16th century, and a powerful testament to the courage and tenacity of a woman who defied the inequalities of this distant age.


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