Myers infuses the story of Grethe's arrest, torture, trial, and sentence for "suspected infanticide" with a detailed account of the workings of the criminal system in continental Europe, including the nature of interrogations, the process of torture, and the creation of a "criminal" identity over time. He presents an in-depth examination of a criminal system in which torture was both legal and an important part of criminal investigations. This story serves as a captivating slice of European history as well as a highly informative look at the condition of poor women and the legal system in mid-seventeeth century Germany. General readers and scholars alike will be riveted by Grethe's ordeal.
|Publisher:||Cornell University Press|
|Edition description:||1st Edition|
|Product dimensions:||8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Table of ContentsIllustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Part I: Grethe 1. In Brunswick, Near Hannover City 2. Anatomy of a Crime 3. A Girl, Purportedly a Maiden 4. Family Values 5. Common Repute: Women and Neighbors 6. Corpus Delicti 7. Knowledgeable Women: The Midwives' Tale 8. Legal Maneuvering and the Question of Torture 9. Terror, Torture, and Grethe Schmidt Part II: Justus10. Case for a Defense 11. Defending Grethe 12. The Thick Wilderness of Lies 13. The Way to a Confession 14. "Even to the Devil Himself" Conclusion: Many Vigorous Enemies Notes Bibliography Index
What People are Saying About This
"The story Myers has to tell is a fascinating one and he skillfully constructs a strong narrative as he unravels testimonies and follows step-by-step the investigation, the machinations of government, the protests of the maiden's family, and the role played by the lawyer who defended her. With the talent of a good mystery writer, Myers holds us in suspense as to the outcome of the case until the very end."
"Myers draws upon remarkably complete archival sources complemented by print polemics published by the city and the defense attorney. The translations and paraphrases he includes are sensitive and accurate. Myers uses the documents well to present a coherent story. One of the strongest aspects of his treatment is the care that he takes to tease the larger implications and often invisible assumptions that guided the interrogations. For students these pages will be a wonderful introduction to the way in which historians use sources in reconstructing an always elusive past."