The Black Cloister where Katharina and Martin Luther lived.
Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha
This book is fascinating! Who knew that Martin Luther, the reformer of Protestant Christian religion as we know it today, a former Catholic monk and priest, married a runaway nun? She was twenty-four when she escaped from the convent. Even so, once married several years later, they lived in an abandoned monastery in Germany, the Black Cloister. They both had received death threats because of their marriage. They had 6 children, and many visitors at the monastery. Their life was very busy, and Martin traveled often to give sermons or participate in religious debates. Yes, he was instrumental in beginning the Protestant Christian religion, but his personal life was also eventful.
This is one of the best biographies I have read!
Katharina, Martin’s wife, lived an incredible life as well. The work she had to do to keep up the monastery and the household for their family is heroic. I never knew anyone who worked as hard as she. She also was very talented in many ways, as with natural medicines, butchering animals for food, and running the household finances. Luckily for the Luthers, Katharina had received good schooling at the convent where she grew up. At that time, most women were illiterate, but Katharina could read and write (in both Latin and German), and she had memorized portions of the Bible, especially the Psalms.
Martin Luther was also, though poor, well-educated. He eventually earned a doctorate – Doctor of Biblia- meaning “teacher of the Bible”. He published many papers. He taught at a University, and was preacher to the Augustinian monks in Wittenberg. This was the background of the man who later wrote the “Ninety-Five Theses” that were nailed to the church door of the Castle Church, making the public announcement of the start of the Protestant Christian religion.
Michelle DeRusha tells a fascinating tale of intrigue, rebellions, escapes in the night, illnesses and deaths. This is like the dramas seen in current historical TV on Masterpiece Theater! It is hard to believe that church history could be so interesting. I will definitely by watching for Michelle’s future books. She can really tell a story!
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I did receive a free digital copy from the Publisher through >NetGalley.com, so that I could write this honest review.