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"it is a common error of thought holding, as we do, that heroes no longer walk among us. For it is not true that we have no heroes; rather it is that we note them not. We have foolishly substituted those having fame for those doing great deeds when we grant our admiration."

Der Fränkische Uhrmacher

The novella The Frankish Watchmaker tells the story of Rudolf Stadler, a native of Zurich who becomes the palace timekeeper of the Persian shah. Thanks to his position and his friendship with the shah, Stadler has status, wealth, and a beautiful wife–everything a European man of the 17th century would want. But then, after he insults a powerful Islamic cleric, he loses everything. The novella is based on the life story of the real Rudolf Stadler.