Minecraft Adventures B2G1 Free
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Interviews | August 31, 2015

    Shawn Donley: IMG Bill Clegg: The Powells.com Interview



    Bill CleggIn January of this year, eight months before its release date, the buzz was already starting to build for Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family.... Continue »
    1. $18.20 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      Did You Ever Have a Family

      Bill Clegg 9781476798172

    spacer

On Order

$64.95
New Hardcover
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Crime- True Crime

A Poisoned Chalice

by

A Poisoned Chalice Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Elegantly written and a delight to read, this book is certainly an example of microhistory at its best. It brings to life a strange, long-neglected incident in the history of Zurich and uses it to analyze the relationship between religion and the Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century."--Carlos Eire, Yale University

"This book has a significant role to play in introducing students and the interested public to the nature of the Enlightenment in German-speaking Europe and the new role played by publishing in the shaping of public opinion in late eighteenth century Europe. It is written in an informal style that, along with its brevity and drama, make the text highly readable."--David Kertzer, Brown University

"Jeffrey Freedman's elegant and erudite book works on several levels. A fascinating detective story about strange doings in Zurich in 1776, it follows the ripples caused by the affair of the poisoned chalice into the city where it took place, the media that made it a cause célèbre, and the highest circles of the German-speaking Enlightenment. This is a small masterpiece: the distilled essence of cultural history, brilliantly analyzed and presented."--Anthony Grafton, Princeton University, author of Cardano's Cosmos and The Footnote

"A Poisoned Chalice is a wicked blend of erudition and entertainment. Jeffrey Freedman's engrossing study of the legal and literary furor surrounding the apparent poisoning of the communion wine in eighteenth-century Zurich serves up a compelling account of crime, punishment, and publicity in the Age of Enlightenment. Following Freedman as he works his way skillfully from court records to scientific reports to literary journals, we learn how the police investigated and the press debated a crime that fascinated German-speaking Europe. Here's a story that has everything: religious skullduggery, social tensions, crusading publicists, and a colorful cast of characters. A Poisoned Chalice is heady stuff indeed."--James Schmidt, Boston University

Synopsis:

"Elegantly written and a delight to read, this book is certainly an example of microhistory at its best. It brings to life a strange, long-neglected incident in the history of Zurich and uses it to analyze the relationship between religion and the Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century."--Carlos Eire, Yale University

"This book has a significant role to play in introducing students and the interested public to the nature of the Enlightenment in German-speaking Europe and the new role played by publishing in the shaping of public opinion in late eighteenth century Europe. It is written in an informal style that, along with its brevity and drama, make the text highly readable."--David Kertzer, Brown University

"Jeffrey Freedman's elegant and erudite book works on several levels. A fascinating detective story about strange doings in Zurich in 1776, it follows the ripples caused by the affair of the poisoned chalice into the city where it took place, the media that made it a cause célèbre, and the highest circles of the German-speaking Enlightenment. This is a small masterpiece: the distilled essence of cultural history, brilliantly analyzed and presented."--Anthony Grafton, Princeton University, author of Cardano's Cosmos and The Footnote

"A Poisoned Chalice is a wicked blend of erudition and entertainment. Jeffrey Freedman's engrossing study of the legal and literary furor surrounding the apparent poisoning of the communion wine in eighteenth-century Zurich serves up a compelling account of crime, punishment, and publicity in the Age of Enlightenment. Following Freedman as he works his way skillfully from court records to scientific reports to literary journals, we learn how the police investigated and the press debated a crime that fascinated German-speaking Europe. Here's a story that has everything: religious skullduggery, social tensions, crusading publicists, and a colorful cast of characters. A Poisoned Chalice is heady stuff indeed."--James Schmidt, Boston University

Synopsis:

A Poisoned Chalice tells the story of a long-forgotten criminal case: the poisoning of the communion wine in Zurich's main cathedral in 1776. The story is riveting and mysterious, full of bizarre twists and colorful characters--an anti-clerical gravedigger, a hard-drinking drifter, a defrocked minister--who come to life in a series of dramatic criminal trials. But it is also far more than just a good story. In the wider world of German-speaking Europe, writes Jeffrey Freedman, the affair became a cause célèbre, the object of a lively public debate that focused on an issue much on the minds of intellectuals in the age of Enlightenment: the problem of evil.

Contemporaries were unable to ascribe any rational motive to an attempt to poison hundreds of worshippers. Such a crime pointed beyond reason to moral depravity so radical it seemed diabolic. By following contemporaries as they struggled to comprehend an act of inscrutable evil, this book brings to life a key episode in the history of the German Enlightenment--an episode in which the Enlightenment was forced to interrogate the very limits of reason itself.

Twentieth-century horrors have familiarized us with the type of evil that so shocked the men and women of the eighteenth century. Does this familiarity give us any special insight into the affair of the poisoned chalice? In its final chapter, the book takes up this question, reflecting on the nature of historical knowledge through an imaginary dialogue with Enlightenment-era interlocutors. But it does not reach any definitive conclusion about what happened in the Zurich cathedral in 1776. To search for the truth about such a mystery is merely to extend a dialogue begun in the eighteenth century, and that dialogue is as open-ended as the process of Enlightenment itself.

About the Author

Jeffrey Freedman is Professor of European History at Yeshiva University.

Table of Contents

list of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1

CHAPTER 1. Murder in the Cathedral 8

CHAPTER 2. Proof and Persuasion 32

CHAPTER 3. "Not Wirz, Not the Gravedigger" 53

CHAPTER 4. The Enlightenment in German-Speaking Europe 80

CHAPTER 5. "And God Fell Silent": The Enlightenment on Trial (I) 93

CHAPTER 6. Radical Evil: The Enlightenment on Trial (II) 126

CHAPTER 7. The Sword of Justice 139

CHAPTER 8. The Search for Truth 154

Notes 161

Bibliography 213

Index 227

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691002330
Author:
Freedman, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Freedman, Jeff
Author:
Rey
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
History
Subject:
Good and evil
Subject:
Trials
Subject:
Enlightenment
Subject:
Modern - 18th Century
Subject:
Lord's supper
Subject:
Europe, German-speaking
Subject:
Murder - General
Subject:
European History
Subject:
Good and evil - History - 18th century
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Copyright:
Series Volume:
106-857
Publication Date:
March 2002
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
17 halftones
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 19 oz

Related Subjects

Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Northern Europe
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

A Poisoned Chalice New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$64.95 Backorder
Product details 256 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691002330 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Elegantly written and a delight to read, this book is certainly an example of microhistory at its best. It brings to life a strange, long-neglected incident in the history of Zurich and uses it to analyze the relationship between religion and the Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century."--Carlos Eire, Yale University

"This book has a significant role to play in introducing students and the interested public to the nature of the Enlightenment in German-speaking Europe and the new role played by publishing in the shaping of public opinion in late eighteenth century Europe. It is written in an informal style that, along with its brevity and drama, make the text highly readable."--David Kertzer, Brown University

"Jeffrey Freedman's elegant and erudite book works on several levels. A fascinating detective story about strange doings in Zurich in 1776, it follows the ripples caused by the affair of the poisoned chalice into the city where it took place, the media that made it a cause célèbre, and the highest circles of the German-speaking Enlightenment. This is a small masterpiece: the distilled essence of cultural history, brilliantly analyzed and presented."--Anthony Grafton, Princeton University, author of Cardano's Cosmos and The Footnote

"A Poisoned Chalice is a wicked blend of erudition and entertainment. Jeffrey Freedman's engrossing study of the legal and literary furor surrounding the apparent poisoning of the communion wine in eighteenth-century Zurich serves up a compelling account of crime, punishment, and publicity in the Age of Enlightenment. Following Freedman as he works his way skillfully from court records to scientific reports to literary journals, we learn how the police investigated and the press debated a crime that fascinated German-speaking Europe. Here's a story that has everything: religious skullduggery, social tensions, crusading publicists, and a colorful cast of characters. A Poisoned Chalice is heady stuff indeed."--James Schmidt, Boston University

"Synopsis" by , A Poisoned Chalice tells the story of a long-forgotten criminal case: the poisoning of the communion wine in Zurich's main cathedral in 1776. The story is riveting and mysterious, full of bizarre twists and colorful characters--an anti-clerical gravedigger, a hard-drinking drifter, a defrocked minister--who come to life in a series of dramatic criminal trials. But it is also far more than just a good story. In the wider world of German-speaking Europe, writes Jeffrey Freedman, the affair became a cause célèbre, the object of a lively public debate that focused on an issue much on the minds of intellectuals in the age of Enlightenment: the problem of evil.

Contemporaries were unable to ascribe any rational motive to an attempt to poison hundreds of worshippers. Such a crime pointed beyond reason to moral depravity so radical it seemed diabolic. By following contemporaries as they struggled to comprehend an act of inscrutable evil, this book brings to life a key episode in the history of the German Enlightenment--an episode in which the Enlightenment was forced to interrogate the very limits of reason itself.

Twentieth-century horrors have familiarized us with the type of evil that so shocked the men and women of the eighteenth century. Does this familiarity give us any special insight into the affair of the poisoned chalice? In its final chapter, the book takes up this question, reflecting on the nature of historical knowledge through an imaginary dialogue with Enlightenment-era interlocutors. But it does not reach any definitive conclusion about what happened in the Zurich cathedral in 1776. To search for the truth about such a mystery is merely to extend a dialogue begun in the eighteenth century, and that dialogue is as open-ended as the process of Enlightenment itself.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

       
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.