Witch Hunts in Europe and America (Hardcover)

An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Biographies)

By William E. Burns

Greenwood, 9780313321429, 400pp.

Publication Date: October 30, 2003

List Price: 97.00*
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From early sorcery trials of the 14th century--associated primarily with French and Papal courts--to the witch executions of the late 18th century, this book's entries cover witch-hunting in individual countries, major witch trials from Chelmsford, England, to Salem, Massachusetts, and significant individuals from famous witches to the devout persecutors. Entries such as the evil eye, familiars, and witch-finders cover specific aspects of the witch-hunting process, while entries on writers and modern interpretations provide insight into the current thinking on early modern witch hunts.

From the wicked witch of children's stories to Halloween and present-day Wiccan groups, witches and witchcraft still fascinate observers of Western culture. Witches were believed to affect climatological catastrophes, put spells on their neighbors, and cavort with the devil. In early modern Europe and the Americas, witches and witch-hunting were an integral part of everyday life, touching major events such as the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution, as well as politics, law, medicine, and culture.

About the Author

WILLIAM E. BURNS has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland, and Mary Washington College. His earlier books include The Scientific Revolution: A World History Companion (2001) and An Age of Wonders: Prodigies in Later Stuart Politics and Culture (2002).