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Children of Disobedience: The Love Story of Martin Luther and Katharina of Bora Hardcover – August 1, 2000

2.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The marriage of Martin Luther and his bride, Katharina von Bora, offers virtually untapped material for fiction, and award-winning German novelist Scheib captures the tumultuous times of Luther's Reformation in this well-researched account. His atmospheric evocation of 16th-century Germany depicts the political and social forces that led to the Reformation. The Luthers' marriage is portrayed as passionate, even as they struggle with economic hardship, illness and the demands of Luther's mission. Scheib offers a plausible explanation of Luther's teaching on the subject of sex within marriage: how he began with ideas of practical outcomes, such as offspring, and later developed the controversial idea that sex reinforces a special bond between husband and wife. While the book contains no narrative descriptions of the couple's sex life, Katharina's reflections on the subject are quite sensuous. Readers may take exception to her portrayal, however. Though Katharina was unusually outspoken and interested in the Reformation cause, the novel only speaks of her interaction with these ideas at the beginning, when Luther's tracts have moved her and several other nuns to escape from their cloister. As depicted here, she becomes increasingly bitter and angry, with fewer glimpses of tenderness and happiness. The final picture we have of Katharina, generally regarded as a woman of great strength and courage, is one of fear and confusion. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824516958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824516956
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By AW on January 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Skip the book. I borrowed it from the library, and I'm returning it back to the library as soon as possible. This book reminds me too much of an extremely unhappy liberal woman living in the 1990's. You're better off reading an actual, researched biography with an extensive bibliography listed at the end of the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book out of research interest in Luther's life, but ended up not being able to release it before I was finished. Having done extensive research on Martin Luther, with special emphasis on his music, I can say that facts about which I have background check with those Asta Scheib presents. She points out in her forward that she spent many years researching the relationship between Martin and his redoubtable Kati. The difficulties in addressing rare private details of this very public man were no doubt formidable more than 450 years later. Sure she takes risks, but sometimes responsible writers of "enhanced" biographies or biography-based fiction can get "closer to the edge" of knowledge than historians who know more than they feel they can tell with professional standards. Her main thesis is that this gutsy ex-nun, Katharina, took bold initiatives with ex-monk Martin Luther and converted a workaholic, male chauvinist scholar and revolutionary into (eventually) a happily married man. After a rocky start, Luther - probably accurately - deferred to her in all things domestic, and even some things beyond.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a nice read, but can get annoy sometimes. Katharina is sometimes portrayed as a whiny, selfish, jealous woman who uses manipulation to get what she wants. I believe the author should done more research on the marriage and family life of Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora. If she wanted to take fictional liberties with this book, at she could have made Martin Luther and Katie more true to the actual characters.

I've almost all of Luther's letters and his contemporaries' descriptions of him, and he in no way is the uncaring husband and father that the author portrays him as. As for Katharina, Luther, in his letters, often said that she was a "good, pious, and obedient wife..." The Katharina is this book is a nightmare!
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