Marks of an Absolute Witch

Author: Dr Orna Alyagon Darr
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 140948243X
Format: PDF, ePub
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This work explores the social foundation of evidence law in a specific historical social and cultural context - the debate concerning the proof of the crime of witchcraft in early modern England. In this period the question of how to prove the crime of witchcraft was the centre of a public debate and even those who strongly believed in the reality of witchcraft had considerable concerns regarding its proof. In a typical witchcraft crime there were no eyewitnesses, and since torture was not a standard measure in English criminal trials, confessions could not be easily obtained. The scarcity of evidence left the fact-finders with a pressing dilemma. On the one hand, using the standard evidentiary methods might have jeopardized any chance of prosecuting and convicting extremely dangerous criminals. On the other hand, lowering the evidentiary standards might have led to the conviction of innocent people. Based on the analysis of 157 primary sources, the book presents a picture of a diverse society whose members tried to influence evidentiary techniques to achieve their distinct goals and to bolster their social standing. In so doing this book further uncovers the interplay between the struggle with the evidentiary dilemma and social characteristics (such as class, position along the centre/periphery axis and the professional affiliation) of the participants in the debate. In particular, attention is focused on the professions of law, clergy and medicine. This book finds clear affinity between the professional affiliation and the evidentiary positions of the participants in the debate, demonstrating how the diverse social players and groups employed evidentiary strategies as a resource, to mobilize their interests. The witchcraft debate took place within the formative era of modern evidence law, and the book highlights the mutual influences between the witch trials and major legal developments.

The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America

Author: Brian P. Levack
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191648841
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The essays in this Handbook, written by leading scholars working in the rapidly developing field of witchcraft studies, explore the historical literature regarding witch beliefs and witch trials in Europe and colonial America between the early fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. During these years witches were thought to be evil people who used magical power to inflict physical harm or misfortune on their neighbours. Witches were also believed to have made pacts with the devil and sometimes to have worshipped him at nocturnal assemblies known as sabbaths. These beliefs provided the basis for defining witchcraft as a secular and ecclesiastical crime and prosecuting tens of thousands of women and men for this offence. The trials resulted in as many as fifty thousand executions. These essays study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. They also relate these prosecutions to the Catholic and Protestant reformations, the introduction of new forms of criminal procedure, medical and scientific thought, the process of state-building, profound social and economic change, early modern patterns of gender relations, and the wave of demonic possessions that occurred in Europe at the same time. The essays survey the current state of knowledge in the field, explore the academic controversies that have arisen regarding witch beliefs and witch trials, propose new ways of studying the subject, and identify areas for future research.

Stolen Women in Medieval England

Author: Caroline Dunn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107017009
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The first comprehensive exploration of women's multifaceted experiences of forced and consensual ravishment in medieval England.

Demons of Urban Reform

Author: Laura Stokes
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9781403986832
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book illuminates the origins of the great European witch hunts by placing early witch trials in the comparative light of other criminal proceedings in Basel, Lucerne and Nuremberg. The study reveals that the increasingly harsh treatment was paralleled by mounting judicial severity in general, as well as by a keen interest in social control.

Ballads and Broadsides in Britain 1500 1800

Author: Patricia Fumerton
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9780754662488
Format: PDF, ePub
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Bringing together diverse scholars to represent the full historical breadth of the early modern period, and a wide range of disciplines (literature, women's studies, folklore, ethnomusicology, art history, media studies, the history of science, and history), Ballads and Broadsides in Britain, 1500-1800 offers an unprecedented perspective on the development and cultural practice of popular print in early modern Britain.

Material Texts in Early Modern England

Author: Adam Smyth
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108421326
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book combines book history and literary criticism to explore how early modern books were richer things than previously imagined.

Craft of the Wild Witch

Author: Poppy Palin
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 9780738705774
Format: PDF, Docs
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Read nature's language and develop a living relationship with the land from the wild witch perspective; find magic in the mundane; and review Sabbats, Esbats, spell-weaving, companion spirits, fairies, intuition development, and more. Original.

The Family in Early Modern England

Author: Helen Berry
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521858763
Format: PDF, Mobi
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2007 assessment of the most important research published in the past three decades on the English family.

Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England

Author: Linda Levy Peck
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134870418
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This wide-ranging volume goes to the heart of the revisionist debate about the crisis of government that led to the English Civil War. The author tackles questions about the patronage that structured early modern society, arguing that the increase in royal bounty in the early seventeenth century redefined the corrupt practices that characterized early modern administration.