BIOGRAPHY: THE MONK WHO SHOOK THE WORLD – CYRIL DAVEY
BY DANIEL T. GOMES
Cyril Davey perpetuates the great legacy left by
the Father of the Protestant Reformation in The
Monk Who Shook the World, a short fiction work
based on Martin Luther’s life.
Who was Luther? Why did he stand against the Catholic Church? How did he come under the protection of Saxony’s prince-elector, Frederick the Wise? The answers to these questions lie in Cyril Davey’s book, The Monk Who Shook the World, a romanticized take on Martin Luther’s life and accomplishments.
From Luther’s childhood in Saxony to his marriage with Katharina von Bora, the book explores the German monk’s life, addressing the most significant events in Luther’s life and the reasons behind them. Davey is particularly effective at depicting this, presenting a compelling setting to Luther’s journey from Catholicism to Reformation. By revealing to the reader a fragmented Germany struggling to cope with Rome’s edicts, the author provides a solid background to the rise of Luther’s Protestantism, one that recognizes the Reformation’s political motivations as well as its religious ones.
Davey also shows great skill at employing dialogue in his work. Conversations among characters seem well-founded and coherent with the story’s setting and plot, enriching an already powerful blend of reality with fiction. The author was able to attribute these characters their proper mien, which reveals itself most faithfully through their verbal interactions.
Together with the credible dialogue, Davey’s thoughtful descriptions and smooth transitioning make the short novella a diamond in the rough. While one ought to be careful about the extent of poetic license exercised by the author, The Monk Who Shook the World stands as a curious and gripping account of Luther’s life. Its impressive mixture of historical facts
with elements of fiction makes for a work that is as interesting as it is enlightening. Despite having been largely ignored, this book ought to be read both as a biographical work and as an example of effective writing by all who seek to know Martin Luther as deeply as possible.