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Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials

Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials

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A fascinating, vivid global history of witch trials across Europe, Africa, and the Americas, told through thirteen distinct trials that illuminate the pattern of demonization and conspiratorial thinking that has profoundly shaped human history.

Witchcraft is a dramatic journey through thirteen witch trials across history, some famous--like the Salem witch trials--and some lesser-known: on Vard island, Norway, in the 1620s, where an indigenous Sami woman was accused of murder; in France in 1731, during the country's last witch trial, where a young woman was pitted against her confessor and cult leader; in Pennsylvania in 1929 where a magical healer was labelled a "witch"; in Lesotho in 1948, where British colonial authorities executed local leaders. Exploring how witchcraft became feared, decriminalized, reimagined, and eventually reframed as gendered persecution, Witchcraft takes on the intersections between gender and power, indigenous spirituality and colonial rule, and political conspiracy and individual resistance.

Offering a vivid, compelling, and dramatic story, unspooling through centuries, about the men and women who were accused--some of whom survived their trials, and some who did not--Witchcraft empowers the people who were and are victimized and marginalized, giving a voice to those who were silenced by history.

Author: Marion Gibson
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Published: 01/16/2024
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.89lbs
Size: 8.64h x 5.83w x 0.94d
ISBN: 9781668002421

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 08/01/2023 pg. 16
Kirkus Reviews 12/01/2023
Publishers Weekly 01/15/2024

About the Author
Marion Gibson is Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures at the University of Exeter, UK. She is the author of seven academic books on witches in history and literature: Reading Witchcraft; Possession, Puritanism, and Print; Witchcraft Myths in American Culture; Imagining the Pagan Past; Rediscovering Renaissance Witchcraft; Witchcraft: The Basics and, with Jo Esra, Shakespeare's Demonology. Marion has also edited five books for publishers such as Routledge and Ashgate, published around twenty chapters and articles, and she is General Editor of the series Elements in Magic for Cambridge University Press. Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials is her most recent work.

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