Grimmelshausen's enduring fame as Germany’s greatest satirical novelist has rested mainly on The Adventerous Simplicissimus, the first of four novels comprising the Simplician cycle. Less well known, though of equal interest for their penetrating and satiric insight into seventeenth-century beliefs and superstitions, are the two Simplician tales now made available to English readers in this edition: Courage, The Adventuress, the fictional biography of a camp follower in the Thirty Years War, a grimly humorous tale told in the earthy language of the people; and The False Messiah, comprising nine chapters from Grimmelshausen’s last work, The Enchanted Bird’s Nest, Part II. The book includes an Introduction with an account of Grimmelshausen’s life, works, and philosophy, as well as critical comment on the two works.
Originally published in 1964.
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