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The Witchcraft Reader (Routledge Readers in History)

The Witchcraft Reader (Routledge Readers in History)
Author: N/A
ISBN 13: 9780415415651
ISBN 10: 415415659
Edition: 2
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: 2008-04-17
Format: Paperback
Pages: 424
List Price: $48.95

The Witchcraft Reader draws together the best historical writing on the subject, exploring the origins and consequences of the fear of witches. The Reader traces the development of witch beliefs in the late Middle Ages, the social and political dynamics of witch-hunts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the continuing relevance of the subject today.

This second edition has been extensively revised and updated to include important new research in the field. There are expanded sections on witchcraft in the Middle Ages and the role of gender in witch trials, as well as new work on demonic possession and the decline and survival of witch beliefs. The major themes and debates in the study of witchcraft are brought together in a general introduction, which places the extracts in a critical context and each extract has an introduction which contextualizes its author.

The Witchcraft Reader offers a wide range of historical perspectives in a single, accessible volume aimed at anyone intrigued by this complex and fascinating subject.


An anthology of 31 articles and essays originally published in journals or earlier anthologies. They consider witchcraft from the perspectives of medieval origins, magic and culture, the idea of a cult, the Reformation, the state and social control, possession and the devil, gender, reading confessions, decline, and signs of a new witch hunt. Distributed in the US by Taylor and Francis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)