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The monk and the hangman's daughter, Unknown Binding – 1907


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Unknown Binding, 1907
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) is best known for his short stories "The Devil's Dictionary" and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 166 pages
  • Publisher: The Neale publishing company (1907)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006AF0IQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,680,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Good story with a great ending.
Pam/Chicago
I love historical fiction and this writer is one of the best.
hossman01
Good story and very interesting.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Book lover on February 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a german classic representing romance tragedies, though not as in depth nor as complex as the likes of Romeo and Juliet. I do not want to give anything away so briefly... The story revolves around a monk who loves God but cannot separate his natural feelings for a hangmans daughter, who is an outcast because of her fathers occupation. A look into religion at its best and at its worst. A great view of peoples bias without basis. A tale of the destruction of love from innocence. It is a beautifully written story encompassing compassion, jealousy, fanaticism and cruelty. Recommended for readers who enjoy the beauty of classic tragedy. Easy Read
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Monk and The Hangman's Daughter is a fascinating story of obsession, redemption, and beyond. But there's more to it than that, because the story was not written by Ambrose Bierce, but by Adolphe Danziger De Castro, a journalist, lawyer, scholar, and an author of poems, novels and short stories, and that Ambrose Bierce was a contributor and editor. Yet like peeling the layers of an onion, there's even more to this tale.

This book should not be confused with The Hangman's Daughter by contemporary German author Oliver Pötzsch. I humbly admit that I made that mistake when buying both this book and the one by author Oliver Pötzsch.

Regarding this title, Adolphe Danziger De Castro translated the story "Der Mönch von Berchtesgaden" (The Monk of Berchtesgaden), by German novelist Richard Voss, which had been published in a German monthly magazine in 1891, into English. Danziger contracted Ambrose Bierce, who supported Danziger's literary aspirations in the late 19th century, requesting that he edit the story. It was published as "The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter," first in serial form in a San Francisco newspaper in 1891 then republished as a book in 1892.

This is the tale of Ambrosius, a young Franciscan monk in Germany of the late 1600s, who takes pity on Benedicta, the local hangman's daughter, who by nature of her father's profession is a social pariah.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Monk and The Hangman's Daughter is an intriguing tale of obsession, redemption, and beyond. And there's more to it than that, because the story was not written by Ambrose Bierce, but by Adolphe Danziger De Castro, a journalist, lawyer, scholar, and an author of poems, novels and short stories, and that Ambrose Bierce was a contributor and editor. Yet like peeling the layers of an onion, there's even more to this tale.

Danziger translated the story "Der Mönch von Berchtesgaden" (The Monk of Berchtesgaden), by German novelist Richard Voss, which had been published in a German monthly magazine in 1891, into English. Danziger contracted Ambrose Bierce, who supported Danziger's literary aspirations in the late 19th century, requesting that he edit the story. It was published as "The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter," first in serial form in a San Francisco newspaper in 1891 then republished as a book in 1892.

This is the tale of Ambrosius, a young Franciscan monk in Germany of the late 1600s, who takes pity on Benedicta, the local hangman's daughter, who by nature of her father's profession is a social pariah. It is penned in the form of an undated diary, detailing the arrival in Berchtesgaden of Ambrosius and his companions, and goes on to tell of his first meeting with Benedicta, and of his ensuing meetings and relations with her.

Ambrosius is drawn into a dangerous sympathy with Benedicta, and in defiance of the community and his superiors, he starts spending time alone with her. But when an impetuous young man corrupts her virtue, the stage is set for a battle between heart, mind, body, spirit, the sins of the past, and redemption.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Schaeffer on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this story. It may have lacked depth but it was very interesting and it kept me wanting to read more
Wasn't expecting that ending!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karl Janssen on October 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter is the translation and/or retelling of an 1891 novel by German author Richard Voss. It was translated by Adolphe De Castro (a.k.a. Adolphe Danziger), who submitted it to Ambrose Bierce for editing. The resulting English version was published in a San Francisco newspaper later that same year, and in book form in 1892. Afterwards De Castro and Bierce fought over the story's rights. Eventually it ended up in a collection of Bierce's complete works, and since he's the most famous of the three authors involved, he generally gets the credit for it.

The story takes place in 1680. Brother Ambrosius, a Franciscan monk, is sent to the Monastery of Berchtesgaden, in the Bavarian Alps, near Salzburg. Approaching his destination, he meets a pretty girl frolicking in a meadow beneath a corpse hanging from a gallows. Her name is Benedicta, and she is the hangman's daughter. After taking up residence in the monastery, Brother Ambrosius continues to take an interest in the young woman. She and her father are shunned by the townspeople because of his useful but loathsome profession. Ambrosius pities Benedicta, and tries to provide her with aid and comfort. He must admit to himself that he is attracted to her, but is determined to overcome his desire and behave like a proper spiritual advisor. His superiors do not approve of his association with the hangman's daughter, however, and punish him for it.

This is an odd and disjointed novel, which is not necessarily bad, but it's not particularly good either. In the beginning it is pretty pedestrian and rather lighthearted in tone. There are frequent sprinklings of humor in which the author (Voss or De Castro?
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