The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe3rd Edition
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Fearlessly, Brian Levack tackles a vast, complex subject and reduces it to a concise and lucid synthesis with consummate skill, challenging old assumptions and casting light into the darkest corners. This, the revised third edition, offers student and expert alike immediate access to an overwhelming secondary literature, establishing it as the essential starting point for the study of early modern witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials.
Dr Malcolm Gaskill, Universityof Cambridge
"Now, at last, with Brian Levack's careful, scholarly and critical survey, a thoroughly reliable introduction to the whole literature is available. Levack appears to have read every significant work, both new and old and in most relevant languages, and has judiciously sifted out the information, pondered on it, and come up with balanced and sensible verdicts."
Henry Kamen, History Today
"Levack's logical sorting of a prodigious amount of material has resulted in one of the most informative and comprehensive works of its genre."
Hans Sebald, American Historical Review
An enthralling and exceptional study, Levack focuses on the great age of witch-hunting in Europe(and also in colonial America), between 1450 and 1750. He discusses how in these years more than 100,000 people - most of them women - were prosecuted for allegedly practising harmful magic and worshipping the Devil. He sets out to answer who the accused and accusers were but most importantly Why, after more than 200 years of vigorous activity, did the trials eventually dwindle away?
2. The intellectual foundations
3. The legal foundations
4. The impact of the Reformation
5. The social context
6. The dynamics of witch-hunting
7. The chronology and geography of witch-hunting
8. The decline and end of witch-hunting
9. Witch-hunting after the trials
· Illuminates the social, economic and political history of early modern Europe, and in particular the position of women within it.
· Examines why witch-trials took place, how many trials and victims there were, and where, and why witch-hunting eventually petered out.
· Uses regional and local studies to give a more detailed analysis of the chronological and geographical distribution of the witch hunt.
· Includes material on the development of witch-beliefs in the middle ages, on the social dimension of witchcraft, and on the connection between witch-hunting and the Protestant and Catholic reformations.
Brian Levack is a Professor, Universityof Texasat Austin. He written and edited many books including; Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth
Centuries(1999), The West: Encounters and Transformations (2004), The Jacobean Union: Co-edited with Bruce Galloway, (1985). He has also written many articles including Witchcraft, Magic and Demonology: A Twelve- Volume Anthology of Scholarly Articles (1992).
New Perspectives on Witchcraft, Magic and Demonology: A Six-Volume
Anthology of Articles, (2001) and The Witchcraft Sourcebook, (2003).