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The Monk and The Hangman's Daughter

Adolphe Danziger de Castro and Ambrose Bierce

Book Overview: 

A tragic but captivating tale of a naive young Franciscan monk in the 17th century. Told from his point of view, he describes being sent to a remote monastery in Germany along with several others of his order and their travel through strange new territories. Meeting the local hangman's daughter, who is shunned and despised by the local populace because of her father's occupation, he is overcome with Christian concern for her misery and wants to protect her. The conflict between his desire for her spiritual welfare and what can only be called more earthy desires eventually causes great distress and problems for himself and the girl. There were actually two authors: Ambrose Bierce and Adolph de Castro.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Then I knew better than she could have told me whose child she was.

When I returned to my companions and they asked me who the girl was, I answered: 'The hangman's daughter.'


Having commended the soul of the dead man to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Saints, we left the accursed spot, but as we withdrew I looked back at the lovely child of the hangman. She stood where I had left her, looking after us. Her fair white brow was still crowned with the wreath of primroses, which gave an added charm to her wonderful beauty of feature and expression, and her large, dark eyes shone like the stars of a winter midnight. My companions, to whom the hangman's daughter was a most unchristian object, reproved me for the interest that I manifested in her; but it made me sad to think this sweet and beautiful child was shunned and despised through no fault of her own. Why should she be made to suffer blame because of her father's dreadful . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Asked by a contemporary to translate this novella to English (from yet another translation to German), Ambrose took it upon himself to add some of his own spice to the mix. Ironically, that very contemporary whom Ambrose was asked by, disclosed later that that original author had told him that the w

The Monk and the Hangmans daughter by Ambrose Bierce. A short novel which is written in a first person diary from, its the diary of a young monk called Ambrosius. The story follows Ambrosius' pilgrimage and on his journey he meets the hangman's daughter. The rest of the story follows his subsequent

Solid 4 Stars, probably 4-1/2

This story is the longest by Ambrose Bierce I’ve read. That is not meant as a slight, I admire how much he makes one see and feel, while using only a few words. This is longer than the rest, but still packs more into it, than if someone else used 1000 pages. Love, lust,

Realmente está nouvelle, yo diría que, es de apreciación, porque posee un ritmo pausado, pero no lento o aburrido, las descripciones que el autor crea de la época en la que está situada son inmejorables, logra desarrollar la sociedad y sus habitantes formidablemente.

Se va desarrollando una historia

I found this in an antique bookseller. Originally published in the late 19th century (my copy is a 1967 print), it tells a story of a young Franciscan monk in pre-enlightenment Germany, who takes pity on the local hangman’s daughter, a figure who by nature of her father’s occupation is a social outc

I thought I was picking up a story of forbidden passion and sundered lovers, but instead got a portrait of religious hypocrisy and, intensely depicted, narcissitic obsession and objectification of the "loved" person as a recepticle for the emotions of the protagonist. It's clear that Bierce has no s

The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter is a short, but effective, novel written by the American author, Ambrose Bierce. It is written in the form of an undated diary, detailing the arrival in Berchtesgaden of three Franciscan monks, including the diary writer, Ambrosius. He goes on to tell of his first

Este es otro de esos libros que he comprado únicamente por el trabajo visual de Santiago Caruso, aunque me gusta mucho también el trabajo de Bierce. No lo había leído anteriormente "El monje y la hija del verdugo", aunque me daba la impresión de que no iba a ser algo típico a lo que ya he leído en e

Literary device: cognitive dissonance/ irony

Όμορφη ιστορία, μακριά όμως από ύφος του Μπηρς (φαντάσματα, μάγισσες κλπ κλπ)...

Μέσω της ιστορίας και της αφήγησης του Μοναχού Αμβρόσιου, ο συγγραφέας μιλάει για την θρησκεία, την πίστη, τον έρωτα και την λογική.

Νοήματα δοσμένα με απλό τρόπο, πανέμορφες περιγραφές και χαρακτήρες βγαλμένοι από παραδ

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