The Last Witch of Langenburg by Thomas Robisheaux
Murder in a German Village

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

A young mother dies in agony. Was it a natural death, murder—or witchcraft?

On the night of the festive holiday of Shrove Tuesday in 1672 Anna Fessler died after eating one of her neighbor's buttery cakes. Could it have been poisoned? Drawing on vivid court documents, eyewitness accounts, and an early autopsy report, historian Thomas Robisheaux brings the story to life. Exploring one of Europe's last witch panics, he unravels why neighbors and the court magistrates became convinced that Fessler's neighbor Anna Schmieg was a witch—one of several in the area—ensnared by the devil. Once arrested, Schmieg, the wife of the local miller, and her daughter were caught up in a high-stakes drama that led to charges of sorcery and witchcraft against the entire family. Robisheaux shows how ordinary events became diabolical ones, leading magistrates to torture and turn a daughter against her mother. In so doing he portrays an entire world caught between superstition and modernity. 22 illustrations; 3 maps
 

About Thomas Robisheaux

See more books from this Author
Thomas Robisheaux is professor of history at Duke University.
 
Published February 16, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 432 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Witch of Langenburg

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Offering butter cakes to neighbors was a routine courtesy before Lent, yet the gruesome death of a seemingly healthy woman, coupled with Schmieg’s troublesome reputation among the villagers, created suspicions that prompted the involvement of the district of Langenburg’s court adviser, the local ...

Feb 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Witch of Langenburg:...

The Bookbag

Summary: An extraordinarily detailed look at a singular case of a German witch trial.

Sep 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Last Witch of Langenburg:...

London Review of Books

Like so many early modern jurists and clergy on both sides of the Atlantic, von Gülchen suspected malice in the death: not the simple social malice of murder, but the cosmological malice of witchcraft.

| Read Full Review of The Last Witch of Langenburg:...

Bookmarks Magazine

Exploring one of Europe's last witch panics, he unravels why neighbors and the court magistrates became convinced that Fessler's neighbor Anna Schmieg was a witch—one of several in the area—ensnared by the devil.

May 17 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Witch of Langenburg:...

Reader Rating for The Last Witch of Langenburg
92%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×