"The Buergermeister's Daughter," by Steven Ozment. St. Martin's Press. 227 pages. $23.95 The author's sad and legally complicated history of a 16th-century woman thrust out of her house and denied her inheritance by a father furious at her sexual indiscretions shows that the impulse toward interminable litigation and the machinery for carrying it out existed long ago.
The author has scrupulously examined the records of the case of Anna Bueschler, who fought outrageous fortune in the courts of late Renaissance Germany for several decades.