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Frederick the Wise: Seen and Unseen Lives of Martin Luther's Protector Paperback – June 21, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, June 21, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Review

To his family, friends, peers, and subjects, Elector Frederick the Wise of
Saxony was much more than simply Martin Luther s noble protector. Dr.
Wellman s thoroughly researched and engaging biography paints a vivid
image of the Saxon elector. It is sure to become a valuable resource for
students of German history and the Reformation period. Interested
readers will be introduced to a Christian prince whose humanity and
integrity were rare for someone of his elite status within the German
empire. They will also encounter political intrigue and scandalous
behavior. Praiseworthy, yet not without his flaws, Frederick the Wise
steps out from the pages as an exceptional and noteworthy man of his
time. --Paul M. Bacon, PhD-Adjunct Professor of Art History Dominican University River Forest, IL

Sam Wellman s telling of the story of the public and personal life of
Luther s celebrated protector, Frederick the Wise, is a welcome addition
to Reformation scholarship as we approach 2017. His careful research
and well-crafted prose provide readers with insights into the risky yet
resolute Christian prince who defended Luther even as he received the
consolation of evangelical pastoral care from the Reformer. Aspects of
the relationship between these two men often only alluded to in standard
Luther biographies are developed with precision by Wellman. In this
book we learn much about Frederick but a lot about Luther as well. --John T. Pless, MDiv- Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne, IN

In a biography with the character development, twists and turns, and
absorbing storyline of a novel, Sam Wellman recreates the life and times
of the powerful and resourceful ruler who made the Reformation
possible. Duke Frederick emerges as the adult in the room of squabbling
princes and an inept emperor. A man of peace, a vigorous patron of the
arts and education, and a skillful player in the byzantine mazes of late
medieval politics, Frederick was also a man of moral and theological
contradictions. But Frederick was a shrewd and stalwart defender of
Martin Luther, who was not above criticizing his protector. This book
brings the historical context of the Reformation to life. --Gene Edward Veith, PhD-Professor of Literature Patrick Henry College --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sam Wellman, PhD, is an independent researcher and writer. He lives in Kansas. He blogs on www.frederickthewise.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wild Centuries Press (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983584508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983584506
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,079,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jerzy E. Henisz on May 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the forthcoming five hundred anniversary of the Reformation this is a very timely and welcomed addition to the history of the period. The volume is so well researched and referenced that it might have passed the most stringent criteria of any university PH.D. thesis. The less familiar reader is gently introduced to the division of Saxony into the Albertine and Ernestine parts. The core of the volume focuses on the Ernestine part and its ruler Frederick III. We are led to believe that this well educated elector was smart, prudent, open to innovation, disliked armed conflict of any kind and never hesitated to take time to consider all options before making his decisions. His major contribution to history rests, primarily, with sheltering Wittenberg University professor of the Bible, Martin Luther.

Frederick the Wise was the founder of the Wittenberg University. Beside money from the ruler the University primary source of income, in the initial years, was the foundation designed to sell indulgences for worshipers who came to see the five thousand relics (original and many faked) collected by Frederick. It was, indeed, the paradox of history that the major benefactor of the trade, Luther himself, turned against such practice. Of course his venom was primarily against the pope but ultimately he had to beg, reluctant Frederick, to dissolve the foundation.

The reader will find many interesting anecdotes, prevailing and favorite proverbs and pearls of wisdom along with nuances of diplomatic maneuverings, double crossings and matrimonial horse-trading (actually brides selling and purchasing) among the ruling class. Less attended is economic history of the period with barely a few references to silver mining, floods and natural disasters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i bought this book on Kindle. I did not know what to expect, but was quite pleased. The author is able to tell a great story, about the Elector of Saxony.

Although this was an historical account of the life of Frederick, it didn't feel like a history book. It covers the growth and development of the church during Martin Luther's time, but make no mistake-this is a book about Frederick. It also examines the various interactions with Emperor Maximilian, the Pope, and many others.

I was able to get a better idea of why there were so many little wars among the people of the region. The influences were political, economic, theological, and more. Marriages, in order to promote peace, were prevalent. Some worked; some didn't.

The only disappointment I received, was when I reached the end of the book. At some point, I will pick it up again to read. I recommend this book.
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A biography and analytic assessment of a regional Prince, an imperial Prince, and a Christian Prince. As the Elector of Saxony, Frederick was enmeshed in the affairs of the Empire and the emerging reform of the Church. His roles and the challenges he faced made it possible for him to be a unique leader of his people. Frederick was Luther's protector, but he was more than that. This book brings Frederick to life for those whose knowledge of the man is limited to his relationship with Luther and the emerging reform movement.
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This was difficult to get through since I'm not an academic. But--I did because I wanted to know the man who sheltered Luther. The author lays down the reasons why and when Europe evolved as it did in the 16th century.
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