Under the patronage of two south German nobles, Johann Lorenz Schmidt published an annotated translation of the Bible's opening books in 1735. Known as the Wertheim Bible, Schmidt's translation drew national attention for its intellectual and religious innovations. In the face of a wave of condemnations, supporters withdrew into silence, leaving Schmidt almost alone to defend his work and call for conditions of open debate. Saxony and Prussia issued book bans, followed by the German emperor's council and a host of other central European powers, and Schmidt was incarcerated. With the aid of loyal friends, he fled to Hamburg, where he spent most of his remaining years in relative obscurity, all the while continuing his campaign to bring free thinking to the German lands. Drawing on extensive manuscript and printed collections, Spalding offers the first comprehensive treatment of how Schmidt, a lowly private tutor, challenged one of the most elaborate censorship systems ever devised.