Zsuzsa Rakovszky: Sign of the Times

Münster, the 1530s. Tensions are growing between Catholics and Protestants. As emotions are running high, radical Anabaptists seize the city hall, and proclaim that Münster, under their rule, is the ‘New Jerusalem.’

The story of the Münster rebellion – a story of escalating religious fanaticism and revolutionary zeal, madness and terror – is told by an eyewitness, Liza, the mute servant girl, who sees and hears everything. As she cannot talk, people – including her master, Bernhard Knipperdolling, a wealthy patrician who becomes one of the leaders of the rebellion – readily speak their mind in front of her.

Sign of the Times is a historical novel in which almost all the characters are real and the events are true, even the most unlikely ones – the blind belief in two prophets (a former baker and a former tailor), the radicals’ introduction of polygamy, the massacre of the last days, and the gruesome revenge of the expelled bishop. Rakovszky has a remarkable talent for storytelling and for transporting the reader effortlessly into a world long gone, with all its paraphernalia and everyday activities.

However, this is not merely a historical novel: by recounting all the twists and turns of the story of the Münster rebellion as it relentlessly proceeds towards its terrible end, Rakovszky also tells a timeless story that is painfully relevant to our times: she shows how the legitimate grievances of people and their desire for freedom and justice can be used by impostors who, when they come to power, manipulate the people into complying with even the most insane demands.

Product details
ISBN 978 963 1442 37 3
2022, hard cover with jacket
312 pages, 5499 HUF

Zsuzsa Rakovszky