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Martin Luther by Lyndal Roper
  

Martin Luther

History   Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   The Wolfson History Prize 2017   eBook Favourites   
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Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2017.

This year is the anniversary of the events that we hold responsible for the beginning of the European Reformation in 1517. As it turns out, along with most other things about Martin Luther, it wasn’t quite like that. Bodley Head announce this biographical history as “warts and all” and it is the more valuable for that, at last portraying Luther as a real man not the dim and distant waxwork figure from our schooldays. ~ Sue Baker

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Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700, Diarmaid MacCulloch
The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England 1400-1580, Eamon Duffy

Wolfson History Prize Judges: “Powerfully written with superb control of material, Roper’s book is highly skilled in opening up the vivid social context of Luther’s Germany.”

Synopsis

Martin Luther by Lyndal Roper

Selected as a Book of the Year by the New Statesman, Spectator, History Today, Guardian and Sunday Times. When Martin Luther nailed a sheet of paper to the church door of a small university town on 31 October 1517, he set off a process that changed the Western world for ever. Luther's ideas spread like wildfire. His attack on the Church soon convulsed Germany, divided Europe and polarised people's beliefs. They triggered decades of religious persecution, social unrest and war. And in the long run, his ideas paradoxically helped break the grip of religion in every sphere of life. But the man who started the Reformation was deeply flawed. He was a religious fundamentalist, a Jew-hater and a political reactionary. He was a fervent believer who was tormented by doubt, a brilliant writer who shaped the German language and a vicious and foul-mouthed polemicist. He was a married ex-monk who liberated human sexuality from the stigma of sin, but also a man who insisted that women should know their place. For him the Devil was not just a figure of speech but a very real and physical presence.

Reviews

'This is a smart, accessible, authoritative biography of one of the most dynamic figures in European history. Lyndal Roper writes with clarity and discernment, so that nothing stands between the reader and her grimly fascinating subject; she earths the reformer, situating him psychically as well as geographically in a Germany she describes as vividly as if we lived there: mining towns as well as lecture halls, courts as well as cathedrals. She creates a context for a man who arouses both admiration and horror in the modern reader. Here he stands: never more vocal, more controversial, more compelling' -- Hilary Mantel

'Lyndal Roper's new book is a compelling and provocative attempt to restore some flesh and blood to this static icon...the work of one of the most imaginative and pioneering historians of our generation.' -- Alexandrda Walsham, Guardian

'Lyndal Roper provides a fine scholarly narrative of Luther's extraordinary life...She paints the picture of a difficult hero , with full attention to both light and shadow. A compellingly readable and richly documented study.' -- Rowan Williams

'Excellent and wholly absorbing biography... Roper's biography, distinguished by the excellence of its writing and research, is the beginning of wisdom in all things Reformation, anti-Roman and, alas, proto-Hitlerite.' -- Ian Thomson, Guardian

About the Author

Lyndal Roper

Lyndal Roper is Regius Professor of History at Oxford and one of the most respected historians at work in Britain today. An expert on early modern Germany, her previous books include a study of witchcraft, Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany. In 2016 she received the prestigious Gerda Henkel Foundation Prize for her work on Luther and the Reformation.

Author photo © John Cairns

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Book Info

Publication date

16th June 2016

Author

Lyndal Roper

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Publisher

The Bodley Head Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Hardback
592 pages

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
The Wolfson History Prize 2017
eBook Favourites

Biography: historical, political & military

ISBN

9781847920041

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