Martin Luther (Hardback)
  • Martin Luther (Hardback)

Martin Luther (Hardback)

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Hardback 592 Pages / Published: 16/06/2016
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2017 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. In this first historical biography for many decades, distinguished historian Lyndal Roper gives us a flesh-and-blood figure, warts and all. She reveals the often contradictory psychological forces that drove Luther forward - insecurity and self-righteousness, anger and humility - and the dynamics they unleashed which turned a small act of protest into a battle against the power of the Church.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781847920041
Number of pages: 592
Weight: 1028 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 40 mm

"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
"A fine achievement, deeply researched and fluently written, and it brings its difficult and cantankerous subject to life as no other biography has... A magnificent study of one of history's most compelling and divisive figures" -- Richard J. Evans
"Impeccable scholarship and painstaking fair-mindedness characterize his deeply illuminating biography. Roper has mined the correspondence, and Luther's charisma and complexity shine through the letters" -- Andrew Pettegree * New York Times *
"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 *
"[Martin Luther is] exemplary history: imaginative yet empirical, rounded and profound." -- Malcolm Gaskill * Financial Times *
"Roper's immaculate a complex account of his inner life, without ever straying beyond what the evidence will allow." -- Kathryn Hughes * Guardian, Book of the Year *
"[It] deploys its considerable learning with the lightest of touches: a seductive, shimmering and significant retelling of a man whose rise to power unlikely as it was extraordinary" -- Thomas Penn * Guardian, Book of the Year *
"An impressive and fascinating read." -- David Crane * Spectator, Book of the Year *
"A superb evocation of Luther's Germany... Roper captures so well his coarseness and cruelty." -- A.N. Wilson * New Statesman, Book of the Year *
"[A] magnificent book." * New Statesman *
"A revelation of psychological insight and breathtaking historical detail... Extensive and engaging biography... Very strong on the economic background and how it translates into spiritual questions... This book brings clarity to how complicate, strange, ennobling and disgusting the period was." -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday *
"Roper...has an extraordinary talent for making complex theological issues not just clear but entertaining." -- Gerrard DeGroot * The Times *
"Beautifully written... Among the most interesting, provocative and original biographies of Luther to appear in recent years... This unfailingly inventive and compelling account is a welcome gust of fresh air... Anyone seriously interested in one of the most influential figures of the last half-millennium will need to make time to read this one." -- Peter Marshall * Literary Review *
"[It is] fresh and captivating... A closely focused and compellingly intimate study of Luther's perceptions." -- Alexandra Shephard * History Today, Book of the Year *
"[A] rewarding biography... Roper brings him alive as a very human figure." -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times, Book of the Year *
"This is the book about Luther we've missed among all the holy books and the case studies: the whole engrossing story of a soul and a mind and the man who broke the old world and its old ways for ever. Lyndal Roper brings alive the struggle for ideas, adds a subtle sense of how human beings work, and distils a lifetime of scholarship to conjure Luther's own world with its princes, demons, scandals and sheer brave defiance of a whole old order" -- Michael Pye, author of The Edge of the World
"Compelling and above all deeply honest biography." -- David Crane * Spectator *
"This book will continue to bring the reformer and his theology to life for generations to come." -- Bridget Heal * History Today, Book of the Year *

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“Excellent ”

One may think that they know all they need to know about Martin Luther, and, the Ninety-Five theses nailed a church door in Wittenburg is about all you need to know about the start of the reformation. This book, which... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 52

“Very well written”

A lot of research has gone into this book. There is an economy of writing that manages to convey such a lot about the subject and clearly the author is an authority on the subject. The book is stimulating; on one... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 15

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