Witchcraft in Early Modern England: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Witchcraft in Early Modern England

2nd Edition

By James Sharpe


132 pages

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Paperback: 9781138831162
pub: 2019-08-05
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Witchcraft in Early Modern England provides a fascinating introduction to the history of witches and witchcraft in England from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.

Witchcraft was a crime punishable by death in England during this period and this book charts the witch panics and legal persecution of witches that followed, exploring topics such as elite attitudes to witchcraft in England, the role of pressures and tensions within the community in accusations of witchcraft, the way in which the legal system dealt with witchcraft cases, and the complex decline of belief in witchcraft. Revised and updated, this new edition explores the modern historiographical debate surrounding this subject and incorporates recent findings and interpretations of historians in the field, bringing it right up-to-date and in particular offering an extended treatment of the difficult issues surrounding gender and witchcraft.

Supported by a range of compelling primary documents, this book is essential reading for all students of the history of witchcraft.

Table of Contents

Part One: Witchcraft in Early Modern England: 1 Introduction; 2 Elite perspectives on witchcraft: demonology, the law, and educated culture; 3 Witch-trials, witchcraft accusations, and the problem of community; 4 Witch beliefs: the broader spectrum; 5 The decline of witchcraft; Part Two: Assessment: 6 Summing up; Part Three: Documents; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

James Sharpe is Professor Emeritus in early modern history at the University of York. He has published extensively on the social history of England between 1550 and 1750, specialising in the history of crime and in the history of witchcraft.

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @ open.ac.uk

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @ unbc.ca

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century
HISTORY / Social History