The Tailor-King

The Rise and Fall of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Muenster

Anthony Arthur

Thomas Dunne Books

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He was only a Dutch tailor's apprentice, but from 1534 to 1535, Jan van Leyden led a radical sect of persecuted Anabaptists to repeated triumphs over the combined powers of church and state. Revered by his followers as the new David, the charismatic young leader pronounced the northern German city of Muenster a new Zion and crowned himself king. He expropriated all private property, took sixteen wives (supposedly emulating the biblical patriarchs), and in a deadly reign of terror, executed all who opposed him. As the long siege of Muenster resulted in starvation, thousands fled Jan's deadly kingdom while others waited behind the double walls and moats for the apocalyptic final attack by the Prince-Bishop's hired armies, supported by all the rulers of Europe.

With the sudden rise to power of a compelling personality and the resulting violent threat to ordered society, Jan van Leyden's distant story strangely echoes the many tragedies of the twentieth century. More than just a fascinating human drama from the past, The Tailor-King also offers insight into our own troubled times.

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1A NEW DAWNAnd the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand; and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.—Revelation 11:13


HERMAN KERSSENBRÜCK WAS destined for life as a theologian and a schoolmaster but he was also blessed with an eye for lively detail and a keen dramatic sense. The story that he would experience and, unlike many others, live to tell about, began long before the night of February 8, 1534, but it was then that it reached its first critical point.

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About the Author

Anthony Arthur

Anthony Arthur is the author of numerous works of history, including Deliverance at Los Baños and Bushmaster. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1980 and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Anthony Arthur

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The Tailor-King
The Rise and Fall of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Muenster
Anthony Arthur

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
April 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429970433
ISBN10: 142997043X
256 pages
$7.99
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