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In this novel. Rather. This fact is not incidental to the person Luther was. Storms or lack of rain. unseen entities are portrayed as actual because that is how the characters perceived them. was published when Martin Luther was a small boy. for instance. The existence of a spirit world is not really the point. The 1486-7 manual for interrogating suspected witches. Every occurrence had an explanation.WORKING DRAFT: DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHOR'S PERMISSION Skjelver The Hundred Preface The past is a foreign country. interactive invisible world was very much a reality in the minds of medieval people. sprites. for his world was populated by witches. did 1 . and usually it was a spiritual one. however.P. and demons. Theirs was not a world of coincidence. What matters is that a vibrant. Mackay opens the introduction to his translation of The Hammer of Witches with this line. also known by its Latin name Malleus Maleficarum.L. Many readers may find it hard to believe how integral the unseen world was to the daily life of medieval people. fairies. Hartley Christopher S. . it reflects the world that shaped him. they do things differently there.

but it demonstrates that for medieval people. If God caused a storm. malleable. If God caused rain. and Table Talk. If the Devil caused rain. If the Devil caused a storm. it was a blessing. much of it primary source research. of deference and power. and all their unseen forces. and that source was never neutral. and they certainly had no scientific explanation. This book is informed by Luther's own memories of childhood and youth as expressed in his letters. This set of examples is a simplification to be sure. Weather was a tool of God and the Devil. it was often seen as the work of a witch wreaking vengeance on her fellow villagers for some slight. of course. nothing just happened. Nearly everything had a spiritual source. While drawing on years of research ranging across eight languages. of the forces that shaped him. My aim is to assist the reader in a deeper understanding of Luther's world. He indeed grew up in a world of laughter and music. It was always Divine or Evil. this is first and foremost a work of fiction. love and joy. Yet his was also a world of war. it might be to deceive and lull people into a false sense of spiritual security. famine. and plague. but they are also the best evidence we have 2 . it was punishment or a test for his people. the Devil. sermons. Memories are. of tremendous fear of God.WORKING DRAFT: DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHOR'S PERMISSION Skjelver The Hundred not just happen.

He recalled an older student carrying him to school when he was “a small boy. the subject of my master's thesis. enemies. Among those indifferent parties. Paul Dolnstein. The names of many of his teachers and classmates are fictional. Martin's Uncle Hans was a real person.allies. it is not known how long the first boy lived. Martin was the second son. He was a scandalous figure and shared a name with Martin's father. heavily researched as this novel is. builds a bridge between Luther and the fictional characters. SCHOOL: We do not know when Luther started school. The two men were known as Big Hans (Martin's father) and Little Hans (Martin's uncle). Hence. Some say as young as four. And yet. The views of his contemporaries . 3 . some as old as seven.” according to Heiko Oberman. and indifferent parties . The distinction was likely not always clear to people outside Martin's childhood community of Mansfeld. it is still first and foremost a work of fiction. it may help the reader to address a few points: LUTHER'S FAMILY: All of the characters in the Luther family are based on real people.WORKING DRAFT: DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHOR'S PERMISSION Skjelver The Hundred of Luther's childhood.likewise fill this work. but at present. I have chosen the age of five.

Dolnstein's sketchbook provides the imagery and much of the detail for the military events that transform the lives of our fictional characters. Typically. Some of the Landsknechts' names come from the sketchbook. Their authenticity 4 . Some of the martial songs can be traced no further back than the nineteenth century. Friz. and their family are all fictional. but not Nicholas Gutmann. Though their lives and actions are based on people and occurences discovered in research. but some also served their own princes in a fashion akin to a modern National Guard. Jäger. Wolf von Zwickau. highly trained pikemen. they were mercenaries. who worked for Luther's prince as a stone mason and Landsknecht. Volker. is a real person. For instance. was a real person. In reality. for instance. MUSIC AND PRAYER: I have endeavored to remain as true to liturgy. THE GUTMANN FAMILY: Adelhait. they are not historical figures. and prayer as possible.WORKING DRAFT: DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHOR'S PERMISSION Skjelver The Hundred PAUL DOLNSTEIN: The master builder and Landsknecht who served Luther's prince. Landsknechts were highly prized. though the sources claim that the songs are medieval. this boy's name was Nicholas. song. Nicholas is based on the boy who carried Luther to school.

5 . I have not yet made up my mind about this particular aesthetic choice. I ought as well to portray sexual vulgarity. and this is a topic I am not sure I want to write more thoroughly than I have. The latter form of vulgarity would effect Luther's portrayal very little. often in their original languages.WORKING DRAFT: DO NOT QUOTE WITHOUT AUTHOR'S PERMISSION Skjelver The Hundred should be questioned. this book rests on years of research in original sources. Yet. but it would effect the portrayal of Dolnstein and the fictional characters a great deal. It was indeed useful to him later in life. I have bowed to what I expect to be my audience's preferences. this book is at heart a work of fiction. in the end it is only a novel. However. It would certainly be more accurate.Reformation Europe. for it does not match Luther's indisputable skill with vulgarity. as well as over 500 books on Martin Luther and Late Medieval . but the spirit of these tunes is in keeping with a fictionalized account of real events. In sum. I am unsure that I will remain in this safe zone. COARSE LANGUAGE: I have included a little of the earthiness that marked Luther's personality. if I portray scatological vulgarity. Though its foundation is stout.