Book picks similar to
Malevolent Nurture: Witch-Hunting and Maternal Power in Early Modern England by Deborah Willis
Witches, a tale of Scandal, Sorcery and Seduction
Tracy Borman - 2013
His body is ‘tormented’ with violent convulsions. Within a few short weeks he will suffer an excruciating death. Soon the whole family will be stricken with the same terrifying symptoms. The second son, the last male of the line, will not survive.It is said witches are to blame. And so the Earl of Rutland’s sons will not be the last to die.Witches traces the dramatic events which unfolded at one of England’s oldest and most spectacular castles four hundred years ago. The case is among those which constitute the European witch craze of the 15th-18th centuries, when suspected witches were burned, hanged, or tortured by the thousand. Like those other cases, it is a tale of superstition, the darkest limits of the human imagination and, ultimately, injustice – a reminder of how paranoia and hysteria can create an environment in which nonconformism spells death. But as Tracy Borman reveals here, it is not quite typical. The most powerful and Machiavellian figure of the Jacobean court had a vested interest in events at Belvoir.He would mastermind a conspiracy that has remained hidden for centuries.
The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe
Brian P. Levack - 1984
It examines why the witch-trials took place; how many trials and victims there were, and where; why their incidence was so uneven in Europe; who accused whom; and why witch-hunting eventually petered out. In the process it illuminates the social, economic and political history of early modern Europe, and in particular the position of women within it. For this Second Edition, Brian Levack has revised his text to take account of scholarship since 1987. The notes and references have been greatly expanded, and the entire text reset.
Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall
Eve LaPlante - 2007
The nefarious witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts represent a low point of American history, made famous in works by Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne (himself a descendant of one of the judges), and Arthur Miller. The trials might have doomed Sewall to infamy except for a courageous act of contrition now commemorated in a mural that hangs beneath the golden dome of the Massachusetts State House picturing Sewall's public repentance. He was the only Salem witch judge to make amends.But, remarkably, the judge's story didn't end there. Once he realized his error, Sewall turned his attention to other pressing social issues. Struck by the injustice of the New England slave trade, a commerce in which his own relatives and neighbors were engaged, he authored "The Selling of Joseph," America's first antislavery tract. While his peers viewed Native Americans as savages, Sewall advocated for their essential rights and encouraged their education, even paying for several Indian youths to attend Harvard College. Finally, at a time when women were universally considered inferior to men, Sewall published an essay affirming the fundamental equality of the sexes. The text of that essay, composed at the deathbed of his daughter Hannah, is republished here for the first time.In Salem Witch Judge, acclaimed biographer Eve LaPlante, Sewall's great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter, draws on family lore, her ancestor's personal diaries, and archival documents to open a window onto life in colonial America, painting a portrait of a man traditionally vilified, but who was in fact an innovator and forefather who came to represent the best of the American spirit.
Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft
Robin Briggs - 1996
In particular, he employs his own extensive work in the rich archives hidden away in those Franco-German borderlands in which so many cases became known. Briggs reveals how ordinary people diverted ordinary and not-so-ordinary grievances into a complex structure of blaming and scapegoating. Villagers inhabited a harsh and dangerous world, where real and fantastic fears mingled. Through his study of real cases and real lives, individual hysteria and disillusionment, institutional skepticism and opposition, Briggs skillfully and stylishly traces the ways in which beliefs about witchcraft responded to changes in European society. Witches and Neighbors is an illuminating social and cultural history of a period all too often darkened by myth and misinformation.
Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History
Janina Ramírez - 2016
Based on a sequence of mystical visions she received in 1373, her book is called Revelations of Divine Love.Julian lived through an age of political and religious turmoil, as well as through the misery of the Black Death, and her writing engages with timeless questions about life, love and the meaning of suffering. But who was Julian of Norwich? And what can she teach us today?Medievalist and TV historian Janina Ramirez invites you to join her in exploring Julian's remarkable life and times, offering insights into how and why her writing has survived, and what we can learn from this fourteenth-century mystic whose work lay hidden in the shadows of her male contemporaries for far too long.
Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer's Manual of the Fifteenth Century (Magic in History)
Richard Kieckhefer - 1998
Forbidden Rites consists of an edition of this medieval Latin text with a full commentary, including detailed analysis of the text and its contents, discussion of the historical context, translation of representative sections of the text, and comparison with other necromantic texts of the late Middle Ages. The result is the most vivid and readable introduction to medieval magic now available.Like many medieval texts for the use of magicians, this handbook is a miscellany rather than a systematic treatise. It is exceptional, however, in the scope and variety of its contents--prayers and conjurations, rituals of sympathetic magic, procedures involving astral magic, a catalogue of spirits, lengthy ceremonies for consecrating a book of magic, and other materials.With more detail on particular experiments than the famous thirteenth-century Picatrix and more variety than the Thesaurus Necromantiae ascribed to Roger Bacon, the manual is one of the most interesting and important manuscripts of medieval magic that has yet come to light.
Before France and Germany: The Creation and Transformation of the Merovingian World
Patrick J. Geary - 1988
Professor Geary draws on the latest archaeological and historical findings to elucidate one of the least understood periods of European history. This text is aimed at both survey and graduate courses on medieval history, which invariably take the Merovingian period as their starting point.
A Brief History of the Knights Templar
Helen J. Nicholson - 2001
Helen Nicholson is a leading specialist in the history of this legendary medieval order and offers here a full account of the knights of the order of the Temple of Solomon, bringing the latest findings to a general audience.
Witchcraft: A Ladybird Expert Book
Suzannah Lipscomb - 2018
Written by celebrated historian and broadcaster Dr Suzannah Lipscomb, Witchcraft explores the moment in history when witches were perceived to be especially dangerous: the famous witch hunts between 1450 and 1750.Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.
Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History
Alan Charles Kors - 1972
Now greatly expanded, the classic anthology of contemporary texts reexamines the phenomenon of witchcraft, taking into account the remarkable scholarship since the book's publication almost thirty years ago.Spanning the period from 400 to 1700, the second edition of Witchcraft in Europe assembles nearly twice as many primary documents as the first, many newly translated, along with new illustrations that trace the development of witch-beliefs from late Mediterranean antiquity through the Enlightenment. Trial records, inquisitors' reports, eyewitness statements, and witches' confessions, along with striking contemporary illustrations depicting the career of the Devil and his works, testify to the hundreds of years of terror that enslaved an entire continent.Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Thomas Hobbes, and other thinkers are quoted at length in order to determine the intellectual, perceptual, and legal processes by which "folklore" was transformed into systematic demonology and persecution. Together with explanatory notes, introductory essays--which have been revised to reflect current research--and a new bibliography, the documents gathered in Witchcraft in Europe vividly illumine the dark side of the European mind.
The Scottish Nation: A History, 1700 - 2000
T.M. Devine - 1999
. . Devine's strength is his huge learning in the field of social history, especially the story of the rural communities of Scotland." (Neal Ascherson, Los Angeles Times) "Splendid . . . will remain the standard one in its field for a long time." (The Times Literary Supplement) T. M. Devine uses extensive original research to examine Scotland's urban vigor as well as describing the traditional aspects of Scottish history, covering key topics such as the Union, the Enlightenment, Industrialization, the Clearances, Religion, and the Road to Devolution. He also explores the global Diaspora of the Scots, the impact of migrants, and the effect of the World Wars. Throughout, Scotland's story is set against the background of British, European, and world history.
Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages
David Nirenberg - 1996
Violence in the Middle Ages, however, functioned differently, according to David Nirenberg. In this provocative book, he focuses on specific attacks against minorities in fourteenth-century France and the Crown of Aragon (Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia). He argues that these attacks--ranging from massacres to verbal assaults against Jews, Muslims, lepers, and prostitutes--were often perpetrated not by irrational masses laboring under inherited ideologies and prejudices, but by groups that manipulated and reshaped the available discourses on minorities. Nirenberg shows that their use of violence expressed complex beliefs about topics as diverse as divine history, kinship, sex, money, and disease, and that their actions were frequently contested by competing groups within their own society.Nirenberg's readings of archival and literary sources demonstrates how violence set the terms and limits of coexistence for medieval minorities. The particular and contingent nature of this coexistence is underscored by the book's juxtapositions--some systematic (for example, that of the Crown of Aragon with France, Jew with Muslim, medieval with modern), and some suggestive (such as African ritual rebellion with Catalan riots). Throughout, the book questions the applicability of dichotomies like tolerance versus intolerance to the Middle Ages, and suggests the limitations of those analyses that look for the origins of modern European persecutory violence in the medieval past.
The Black Death
Rosemary Horrox - 1994
This source book traces, through contemporary writings, the calamitous impact of the Black Death in Europe, with a particular emphasis on its spread across England from 1348 to 1349. Rosemary Horrox surveys contemporary attempts to explain the plague, which was universally regarded as an expression of divine vengeance for the sins of humankind. Moralists all had their particular targets for criticism. However, this emphasis on divine chastisement did not preclude attempts to explain the plague in medical or scientific terms. Also, there was a widespread belief that human agencies had been involved, and such scapegoats as foreigners, the poor and Jews were all accused of poisoning wells. The final section of the book charts the social and psychological impact of the plague, and its effect on the late-medieval economy.
The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy
Étienne Gilson - 1932
Gilson asks whether we can form the concept of a Christian philosophy and whether mediaeval philosophy is not its most adequate historical expression. He maintains that the spirit of mediaeval philosophy is the spirit of Christianity penetrating the Greek tradition, working within it, and drawing out of it a certain view of the world that is specifically Christian. To support his hypothesis, Gilson examines mediaeval thought in its nascent state, at that precise point where the Judeo-Christian graft was inserted into the Hellenic tradition. Gilson's demonstration is primarily historical and occasionally theoretical in suggesting how doctrines that satisfied our predecessors for so many centuries may still be found conceivable today.