A CASEBOOK OF WITCHCRAFT: Reports, Depositions, Confessions, Trials, and Executions for Withcraft During a Period of Three Hundred Years by William -- Ed. Woods

A CASEBOOK OF WITCHCRAFT: Reports, Depositions, Confessions, Trials, and Executions for Withcraft During a Period of Three Hundred Years

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this anthology of first-hand accounts, Woods (following Margaret Murray) portrays witchcraft as a vecchia religione, ""an animistic and amoral awareness of the interaction, the interrelationship, between men and the inanimate universe. . . ."": it is an anti-(pre)Christian religion with origins in, for example, shamanism and sexual rites. In the main body of the book, the author does not elaborate on this thesis; but his material shows that witnesses' perceptions are often spurious. Included are some famous renditions: the witch of Endor, Jonah, the Bull of Innocent VIII, Joan of Arc, the Pied Piper of Hamelin; some typical medieval tales: Sabbats, feasting, dancing, torture, succubi and incubi, copulation with the Devil, possession; finally, seventeen depositions from Salem. A responsible contribution to the literature of popular religion.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1974
Publisher: Putnam