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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is […]
Brian P. Levack
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This fascinating collection of documents illustrates the development of ideas about witchcraft from ancient times to the twentieth century. Many of the sources come from the period between 1400 and 1750, when more than 100,000 people mainly women were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe and colonial America.
Including trial records, demonological treatises and sermons, literary texts, narratives of demonic possession, and artistic depiction of witches, the documents reveal how contemporaries from various periods have perceived alleged witches and their activities. Brian P. Levack shows how notions of witchcraft have changed over time. He looks at the connection between gender and witchcraft and the nature of the witch's perceived power.
This Sourcebook provides students of the history of witchcraft with a broad range of sources, many of which have been translated into English for the first time, with commentary and background by one of the leading scholars in the field.
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