Essay on The BurgerMeister’s Daughter Analysis

Essay on The BurgerMeister’s Daughter Analysis

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Drawn from her surviving love letters and court records, The Burgermeister's Daughter is an engaging examination of the politics of sexuality, gender and family in the 16th century, and a supreme testament to the grit and perseverance of a woman who challenged the inequalities of this distant age. The story, in Steven Ozment's meticulous and experienced hands, goes well beyond the litigious Anna to encompass much else about the 16th century, including the nature of sexual morality, the social individuality of men and women, the jockeying for power between the upwardly striving bourgeoisie and the downward sliding nobility, and the aftereffect of the reformation on private life. Steven Ozment's understanding of the Medieval German society and its effects on its citizens is amazing. Steven Ozment brings a medieval drama to life in this extensively researched and absorbing account of the 30-year lawsuit between Anna Buschler and her family. Anna's father was the Burgermeister (mayor) of the German town of Schwabisch Hall. He banished his daughter from the family home in 1525 after he read letters that proved her sexual connection with two men. Anna responded by suing her father. Anna Buschler looked predestined to a comfortable and serene life, not one of constant personal and legal conflict. Born into an eminent and respectable family, self-confident and high-spirited in her youth, and a woman of acknowledged beauty, she had a standing as the beauty of her hometown, and as something of a free soul. In an era when women were presumed to be disciplined and loyal, Anna proved to be neither. Defying 16th-century social mores, she was the constant subject of defamation because of her indecent dress and flirtatious behavior. When her we...

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...ths of the sixteenth century. Yes, women of that time and place left a very light mark on history. Eventually, the story the book tells spirals down into just some nasty courtroom feuds among family members. The story provides a driving narrative that brings into intimate contact disparate kinds that are still prevalent today. And the conclusion drawn from Anna's actions and reactions may surprise. In both everyday life and in times of crisis, women in the twenty first century has access to effective personal and legal resources.

Works Cited: Ozment, Steven. The Burgermeister's Daughter: Scandal in a Sixteenth –Century German Town. New York: Harper Perennial, 1996. Print.

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