4th Edition

The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe

By Brian P. Levack Copyright 2016
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, now in its fourth edition, is the perfect resource for both students and scholars of the witch-hunts written by one of the leading names in the field. For those starting out in their studies of witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials, Brian Levack provides a concise survey of this complex and fascinating topic, while for more seasoned scholars the scholarship is brought right up to date. This new edition includes the most recent research on children, gender, male witches and demonic possession as well as broadening the exploration of the geographical distribution of witch prosecutions to include recent work on regions, cities and kingdoms enabling students to identify comparisons between countries.

    Now fully integrated with Brian Levack’s The Witchcraft Sourcebook, there are links to the sourcebook throughout the text, pointing students towards key primary sources to aid them in their studies. The two books are drawn together on a new companion website with supplementary materials for those wishing to advance their studies, including an extensive guide to further reading, a chronology of the history of witchcraft and an interactive map to show the geographical spread of witch-hunts and witch trials across Europe and North America.

    A long-standing favourite with students and lecturers alike, this new edition of The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe will be essential reading for those embarking on or looking to advance their studies of the history of witchcraft

    List of illustrations, tables and map Preface to the fourth edition Preface to the third edition Preface to the second edition Preface to the first edition 1. Introduction 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 Bibliography Index


    Brian P. Levack is John E. Green Regents Professor in History, University of Texas at Austin. His publications include The Witchcraft Sourcebook (2004), Witch-Hunting in Scotland: Law, Politics and Religion (2008), The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West (2013).

    Praise of this edition:

    "The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe has become widely regarded as the best introduction to the subject.  This fourth edition, incorporating new material and new findings, ensures that the book will continue to be of fundamental importance to students and their tutors as they grapple with this complex historical phenomenon."
    James Sharpe, University of York, UK

    "As a single volume survey of the fascinating phenomena of witches, witchcraft and witch-hunting in early modern Europe, Levack’s careful elaboration is without antecedent or peer. Intelligent, engaging, up-to-date, and highly recommended."  
    Thomas A. Fudge, University of New England, Australia

    "Witchcraft is one of the most, popular, fascinating, and difficult topics in early modern European history. Brian Levack’s The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe has long been unrivalled as an introduction to the field. The new edition incorporates new scholarship, but maintains the clarity of earlier editions. Moreover, it has a companion website with a wealth of accompanying materials that will facilitate both teaching and studying."     
    John Ødemark, University of Oslo, Norway

    "For anyone approaching the history of witch trials in Europe, Brian Levack has written the indispensable book – a thorough, accessible and extremely intelligent guide to a complex and often misunderstood phenomenon. Extensive notes and bibliographies in the revised edition provide a road map to further reading and research at all academic levels."
    Mary R. O'Neil, University of Washington, USA

    "The fourth edition of this outstanding work ensures the continuing currency of what is by far the best single-volume introduction to the early modern European witch-hunt. For general readers and students alike, it offers a clear, crisp, strongly-informed thematic study of the rise and fall of the witch-hunt and a skilful assessment of the continuing debate about the causes, motors and nature of the early modern hunt. Levack provides a balanced and judicious guide not only to a fiendishly complex field of history but also to a generous selection of primary and contemporary source material."
    Peter Gaunt, University of Chester, UK

    Praise of previous editions:

    '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... the essential starting point for the study of early modern witch-beliefs and witchcraft trials.'
    Malcolm Gaskill, University of East Anglia, UK  

    'Now, at last, with Brian Levack's careful scholarly and critical survey, a thoroughly reliable introduction to the whole literature is available.'
    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.'
    American Historical Review